In the winter, when many people turn on their heaters and put up holiday lights, gas and electric bills can be much higher than usual. According to the Department of Energy, a family spends more than $1,900 a year on electricity bills and other utilities. A big part of those costs come from wasted energy during those cold months. However, you can save on winter energy costs if you make some changes in certain areas of your home. Get tips to save energy and money this winter.
In the President’s first term, the Energy Department established new standards, and they’re producing huge results. New efficiency rules for dishwashers, refrigerators, and other products will cut consumers‘ electricity bills by hundreds of billions of dollars through 2030 — and save enough energy to power more than 85 million homes for two years.
Now we’re building on that: Proposed rules from the Department of Energy could cut energy bills by nearly $28 billion and cut emissions by over 350 million metric tons of CO2 over 30 years. That’s like taking nearly 109 million new cars off the road for a year. Put another way, the energy saved is equal to the amount of electricity used by 50 million homes in a year.
That’s some serious progress, and we could use your help to spread the word.
The Department of Energy recently released two new reports that make one thing clear: We’re hitting record highs for U.S. wind energy production and manufacturing.
Wind energy is the fastest growing source of power in the United States — representing more than 40 percent of all new U.S. electric generation capacity in 2012. We’ve more than doubled wind and solar power generation in the past four years.
President Obama has made clear that the growth of clean, renewable wind energy is a critical part of his Climate Action Plan, and we’re committed to seeing wind energy production double once again.
Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About WindThe Department of Energy put together a list of the top ten things most people don’t know about wind energy. Check it out:
10. Human civilizations have harnessed wind power for thousands of years. Early forms of windmills used wind to crush grain or pump water. Now, modern wind turbines use the wind to create electricity. Learn how here.
9. A wind turbine has as many as 8,000 different components.
8. Wind turbines are big. A wind turbine blade can be up to 150 feet long, and a turbine tower can be over 250 feet tall, almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty.
7. Higher wind speeds mean more electricity, and wind turbines are getting taller to reach higher altitudes where it’s even windier. See the Energy Department’s website to find average wind speeds in your state or hometown.
6. Most of the components of wind turbines installed in the United States are manufactured here. Facilities for building wind turbine parts are located in more than 40 states, and the U.S. wind energy industry currently employs 75,000 people.
5. The technical resource potential of the winds above U.S. coastal waters is enough to provide over 4,000 gigawatts of electricity, or approximately four times the generating capacity of the current U.S. electric power system. Although not all of these resources will be developed, this represents a major opportunity to provide power to highly-populated coastal cities. See what the Energy Department is doing to develop offshore wind in the United States.
4. The United States generates more wind energy than any other country except China, and wind accounts for 35 percent of all newly installed U.S. electricity generation capacity over the last four years.
3. The United States’ wind power capacity reached 47,000 megawatts by the end of 2011 and has since grown to 50,000 megawatts. That’s enough electricity to power over 12 million homes annually — as many homes as in the entire state of California — and represents an 18-fold increase in capacity since 2000.
2. Wind energy is affordable. Wind prices for power contracts signed in 2011 are 50 percent lower than those signed in 2009, and levelized wind prices (the price the utility pays to buy power from a wind farm) are as low as 3 cents per kilowatt-hour in some areas of the country.
1. As much as 20 percent of our nation’s electricity could come from wind energy by 2030 but continued support for clean energy tax creditsis critical to achieving this target. That’s why President Obama is calling for an extension on the Production Tax Credit — to support wind producers in the U.S. and continue to help drive the wind industry’s growth.Get Updates
To learn more about the President’s vision for a more secure energy future and sign up to get updates, please visit: WhiteHouse.gov/energy.