Ever Wonder How the Average American Uses Energy?

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It’s amazing to see how much energy we, Americans, use every year. I found this interesting infographic and thought I’d share. The folks at Visual Economics take data from a variety of sources and create interesting, informative visuals to help the average layperson.

It’s not surprising to see that 37.14% of the US energy comes from petroleum; 22.42% from coal; and 23.84% from natural gas.

At home, 41% of energy is used for space heating; 20% for water heating; and 26% for lighting and appliances. And a little over a gallon of gasoline per day per person is used in the United States.

It’s alarming to see how our energy use per capital compares to the rest of the world.

About the Author

With more than 10 years experience working for a major Fortune 500 company, Cindy specializes in socially and environmentally responsible business strategies. She has developed successful corporate communications and stakeholder engagement strategies on contentious sustainability issues and has worked with a number of NGOs and activist organizations on how to effectively partner with multinational companies. Cindy frequently writes about topics ranging from what is corporate social responsibility to sustainable supply chain and measuring a company’s environmental impact. She believes business plays a vital role in the health of our communities and our planet.

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  • You are right, this is a wonderful graphic. Of course, this is only showing the *average* American’s usage. If you travel for business, your usage goes way up. If you have a swimming pool (or even worse, a free-standing hot tub) your usage goes up. Ditto for that plasma screen TV. And on and on for the many toys found in American households.
    As a society we need to become way more energy efficient, *and* embrace renewable energy sources in a big way. Images like this one help folks see the disparities world wide and some of the common sources of the problem – thanks for posting it.