WHAT’S ENERGY?
From the Alliance to Save Energy’s website
January 24, 2004

(dead link) http://www.ase.org/powersmart/whtsenrgy.html
(Archived working link) https://web.archive.org/web/20020601132332/http://www.ase.org/powersmart/whtsenrgy.html

Energy used to heat your home and power your TV is not too different from the energy your body gets when you eat a bean burrito. Your body is like a powerhouse, turning food (fuel) into usable energy— the ability to do work—and eliminating waste byproducts.

A power plant does the same thing: Coal, oil, or natural gas (nonrenewable fossil fuels) goes in and gets burned up to power a big generator that sends energy to your house, with carbon dioxide, some noxious gases, and/or sludge as byproducts.

The problem: Fossil fuels (from fossils, or remains, of dead animals and plants) take millions of years to make. The volume of byproducts created when we burn fossil fuels are not easily reprocessed in our environment and cause pollution and related health problems.

Energy production and use account for nearly 80 percent of air pollution, more than 88 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and more environmental damage than any other human activity.

Energy Efficiency vs. Energy Conservation
Energy efficiency is a far cry from old energy conservation images. It’s not turning down the thermostat and sacrificing comfort. Energy efficiency means getting the most from every energy unit by using state-of-the-art technologies to provide daily needs— comfortable homes, profitable businesses, convenient transportation. It is the single most immediate, cost-effective way to reduce energy use and pollution.

If your house were energy efficient, you could lower your thermostat and be comfortable day and night, without drafts, cold spots, or guilt while doing your share for your family, your finances, and your environment.

If you replaced just four 100-watt incandescent bulbs that burn four or more hours a day in your home with four 23-watt fluorescent bulbs, you’d get as much light and save at least 1,356 kilowatt-hours of electricity and $108 over three years. If all our nation’s households did the same, we’d save as much energy as is consumed by some seven million cars in one year.

Join our “treasure hunt” to discover ways to save home energy and money. Gain the Power$mart edge—the knowledge and power to make energy-efficient choices. The brochure’s Power$mart Tips highlight efficient technologies and approaches, while its Energy Consciousness Tips provide the best energy-saving conservation behaviors. Together, they produce maximum results.