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7 Nightmarish Energy Facts

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We’ve dug up the latest energy statistics, and to say they’re scary is an understatement. You may want to hold onto your seat, but try not to turn away!

Some Very Scary Stats

While the population of the U.S. makes up just 5 percent of the global total, we use a staggering 18 percent of its energy. In fact, we each waste 283 kilowatt hours per month. That's the equivalent of baking a pumpkin pie for six days straight at 350 degrees.

Haunting You With CO2

2016 was the first time Earth’s atmosphere had 400 parts per million CO2, creating the biggest scorcher since 1850. Think that’s crazy? The latest atmospheric CO2 concentration might be the highest our planet has had in the last three million years.

Boo — We Get A "D"

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a globally-recognized catalyst for energy efficiency. In its 2016 report, the U.S. came in second (of 23 nations) in the buildings category at 18.5 out of 25. Add in a 12 for transportation, 14.5 for industry and 16.5 for national efforts, and the U.S. got a "D." And for this year’s city-by-city scores for building policies, energy utilities and community-wide initiatives, the story isn’t much better.

One Frightening Footprint

Maybe a car that won’t start — insert classic horror movie escape scene — isn’t so bad after all. According to Global Workplace Analytics, if every U.S. business let employees work from home half the work week, the U.S. would reduce CO2 emissions by a staggering 51 million metric tons annually. That equals taking all New York commuters off the road for an entire year.

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The Heat Is On

The original Earth Day was held April 1970. Fast forward 47 years and global temps have risen 1.5 degrees F (0.86 C), with parts of the Arctic warming by 5.4 degrees F (3 C). Perhaps most tragic is that these higher sea surface temps are causing coral reefs to die off. The world’s largest, the Great Barrier Reef, is in particularly bad shape.

A Shocking Amount Of Energy Waste

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently put out its 2016 U.S. energy consumption chart, and some of the results are surreal. Like the 97.3 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) the U.S. used. Now for the scary part: rejected energy, otherwise known as wasted energy, was 66.4 quadrillion, nearly two-thirds of the total.

Is That The Wind Or Your Drafty Windows?

As the temperatures cool down, you may begin to notice a chill in the air - and not just outside. Drafty windows, lack of insulation, inefficient appliances and other energy wasters can quickly zap your building of its warmth. In fact, the U.S. spends $300 billion a year to offset those energy losses. That's a lot of cash.

Check out this year's "Seven Scary Energy Facts" infographic to help put energy waste in perspective, then browse these meaningful ways to save.

Scary Energy Facts Infographic

And Now — 13 Positive Energy Facts

  • Fear not. There’s lots of positive change around energy happening in business, the country and the world. Sink your teeth into these:
  • California is 50% of the way towards its 2030 goal of total energy generation from renewable sources.
  • 70% of U.S. employees said they’d view their company more favorably if it helps them cut carbon emissions.
  • Nearly 25% of U.S. employees would take up to 10% less pay if their company helped the environment.
  • There were 100,000 employed in the U.S. wind energy sector in 2016, with 600,000 forecast by 2050.
  • Wind turbine tech is the single fastest growing American job this decade, most notably in rural areas.
  • The wind energy industry brings in about $20 billion every year to the U.S. economy; with the most generation capacity of any renewables.
  • Every 112 hours 37 zettajoules of the sun’s energy reaches our planet, which is roughly the energy within the world’s entire natural gas, oil and coal reserves. Solar is here to stay.
  • Fossil fuel dependence continues to fall. Proof: electric car purchases are at 59% YoY growth, with plug-in hybrids at 86% YoY.
  • Trending up this year: corporate renewable procurement for small- to medium-sized businesses.
  • Over 50% of new power capacity worldwide is in renewables, and forecast to increase 13% by 2021.
  • U.S. businesses invested  over $7.79 t in 2016 to tackle environmental issues, 77x more than in 2010.
  • The world’s biggest businesses have cut carbon emissions by 10% since 2011 and water pollution by 25% since 2013, while 2/3rds of U.S. companies making their environmental impact data public.

Start reducing energy waste in your business today with these 50 tips.

50 Energy Saving Tips for Businesses

Posted: October 12, 2017