Energy and You
The benefits of clean energy include:
- Reduced emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gases
- Lower consumer energy bills
- Enhanced state and local economic development and job creation
- Improved reliability and security of our nation’s energy system
Today, more than ever, consumers have the ability and the interest to choose clean energy, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and efficient combined heat and power. These options can help you stabilize or reduce your energy bills, which have been rising in many areas in recent years.
EPA’s Clean Energy website can help you understand what clean energy is, how energy use affects the environment, what your personal impact is, and how you can help mitigate that impact.
Just follow the links below to find out more!
- What is the impact of electricity generation on the environment?
- How clean is the electricity I use?
- How can I reduce my impact?
What Is the Impact of Electricity Generation on the Environment?
Of the total energy consumed in America, about 39% is used to generate electricity. Therefore, electricity consumption is an important portion of a consumer's environmental footprint.
All forms of electricity generation have some level of environmental impact. As the chart below shows, most of the electricity in the United States is generated from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil.
Fuel Mix for U.S. Electricity Generation
Using energy more efficiently through more efficient products, such as ENERGY STAR qualified appliances or light bulbs, or through more efficient generation, such as Combined Heat and Power, reduces the amount of fuel required to produce a unit of energy output and reduces the corresponding emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Electricity from renewable resources such as solar, geothermal, and wind technologies generally does not contribute to climate change or local air pollution since no fuels are combusted in these processes.
To read more about the impacts of electricity use on the environment visit How does electricity use affect the environment?
There are also opportunities to reduce your environmental impact in the transportation sector, for more information visit www.epa.gov/otaq.
How Clean Is the Electricity I Use?
The emissions caused by power generation vary across the country due to many factors, including: how much electricity is generated, the electricity generation technologies used, and air pollution control devices used.
Please see the latest eGRID summary tables (PDF) (12 pp., 460K, About PDF) for emissions, emission rate, and resource mix information for electricity generation at the State level, eGRID subregion level, NERC region level, and national level.
You can use also use Power Profiler to generate a report about the electricity generation in your area of the country. All you need is your zip code. Power Profiler takes about five minutes to use. Enter Power Profiler
How Can I Reduce My Impact?
Reducing the environmental impacts of your energy use is easy and can be done by making good energy decisions.
- Quick steps to reduce energy use in your home and at the office
- Clean energy information for small business