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How Does Energy Efficiency Impact Our Environment?

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Reducing your annual energy consumption not only has a significant impact on your monthly energy bill, but it makes a positive impact on our environment. In the United States alone, nearly 40 percent of our total energy consumption is used to generate electricity. Therefore, in using our electricity more efficiently, we can collectively lower carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. To help visualize this concept, we’ve utilized the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

If you look at your energy bill, you’ll notice that your monthly electricity usage is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). As a refresher, a kilowatt hour is the measure of electrical energy that’s equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts per hour. With just one kilowatt hour you can brew 12 pots of coffee, microwave 21 frozen burritos, or blow dry your hair 21 times. If you find that on your next bill you’ve lowered your energy use by one kilowatt hour, you’ve saved enough energy to charge up to 90 smartphones.

When we look at small or large-scale energy efficiency upgrades, we find the energy savings to be far greater than one kilowatt hour. Depending on the size and type of building, you could save hundreds or thousands of kilowatt hours through lighting upgrades, equipment retrofits, and building retro-commissioning. Let’s say we’re doing a small-scale lighting project on a community building. The contractors have come through, the paperwork has been completed and you’re estimated to save 50,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. These energy savings would help offset 77,950 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s the equivalent of driving a standard passenger vehicle 86,449 miles – enough to get you from New York to California 29.7 times! Those savings are also comparable to consuming 3,879 gallons of gasoline, burning 38,654 pounds of coal or charging 4,508,523 smartphones.

Now instead of looking at a small community building, let’s look at something bigger such as a museum or corporate office building. With the total energy consumption of the building being much higher, there are generally more opportunities for energy savings. In a combined lighting and HVAC upgrade, let’s estimate you save 650,000 kilowatt hours annually. These energy savings would help offset 1,013,251 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s the equivalent of driving an average passenger vehicle 1,123,834 miles which would get you from New York to California 385.8 times. With that energy you could also power 55 homes for a year or charge 58,610,801 smartphones.

Not all your energy efficiency efforts have to be as drastic as the examples above. Even small improvements can make a significant impact especially if we all commit to energy efficiency. Let 360 Energy Group help you through each phase of your project starting with identification. We can assess your building’s energy use through a retro-commissioning study or an energy assessment and identify energy saving projects and opportunities. Already have a project in mind? We can connect you with funding resources to help offset the upfront cost of your improvement and benchmark your savings after implementation. Give us a call at 312-265-3971 or email us at You have the power to make a positive impact on our environment through simple energy saving measures



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