Surprising Energy Facts

There is a lot of interesting data out there about energy consumption habits, as well as about energy in general. Below we’ve collected some interesting facts about energy from around the web to share with you. Enjoy!

  • Historically, nuclear energy plays little to no role in producing energy on a large scale in the US. However, in 2011, it provided more than 20% of the nation’s energy.
  • The buildings that use the most energy in the entire country? Hospitals. This makes sense, considering they use many complicated machines and often monitor or treat patients around the clock.
  • As a nation, we waste an incredible amount of energy because of a lack of properly insulated buildings. In fact, leaks of this variety, combined with other unnecessary sources of wasted energy, cost the US roughly $300 billion every single year.
  • K-12 schools in the US spend $6 billion on energy every year! This is more than they spend on textbooks and computers combined.
  • Have you ever wondered why people praise compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) so highly? One reason is that only 10% of the energy in a conventional light bulb goes to creating light–the rest actually generates heat. However, CFLs last as much as 12 times longer than regular light bulbs and use 80 percent less electricity, making them well worth the investment.
  • If we were able to capture all of the sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface for one day, we would be able to use that energy to power the entire world for one year.
  • English polymath Thomas Young (1773-1829) was the first to use the word “energy” in its current sense, replacing the traditional term vis viva, meaning “living force.”
  • If a person yelled for 8 years, 7 months, and 6 days, they would produce enough energy to heat one cup of coffee.
  • One good LED light can last for 1,000 days of continual use.

What are some of your favorite facts about energy?