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How does electricity affect 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. Most of the electricity in the United States is generated from fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil.

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Using energy more efficiently through more efficient end-uses 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.

Opportunities also exist to reduce your environmental impact in the transportation sector. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/otaq.

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