Energy efficiency is one of the key aspects people look at when they’re trying to look at ways to address our energy needs, which are only going to grow in my opinion. We talk about energy efficiency quite often around the office because of this.
Water Powered Calculator
I was thinking about this while I was reading an article on Mashable profiling 5 Energy Efficient Office Gadgets. I’m actually thinking about buying the water powered calculator. The calculator uses water-activated batteries that produce about the same amount of energy as alkaline batteries. The real advantage though is those batteries aren’t toxic because they’re made of carbon. Just refill your battery tubes with tap water every two or three months and your calculator should be solving problems for a good long while.
If you really want to talk about energy efficiency though, you have to talk about natural gas. Since 1970, the number of natural gas homes has increased by more than 70 percent. At the same time, today’s homes use 40 percent less natural gas per household than 40 years ago. That’s a tremendous energy savings. A good deal of that savings is due tighter homes, more efficient appliances, and investment by natural gas utilities (our members) and their customers in energy efficiency programs. According to our energy efficiency fact sheet, Natural gas utilities invested nearly $565 million in natural gas efficiency programs in 2008 and budgeted about $927 million in 2009.
Here’s some data from the fact sheet on how the use of Natural Gas in home appliances saves energy:
- Gas efficiency has improved tremendously over the past three decades as evidenced in the declining consumption of natural gas per household during this time period, falling one percent annually from 1980 through 2000 and declining further to 2.2 percent annually from 2000 through 2006. As a result, the average American home uses 40 percent less natural gas now than in 1970.
- On a national average basis, natural gas is three times more efficient than fossil fuel generated electricity in providing energy for end-use applications. While 92 percent of the energy content of natural gas is delivered to customers as useful energy, less than a third of the energy used in the production of electricity reaches homes and businesses.
- Efforts to improve appliance technology have resulted in natural gas furnaces and boilers that are up to 96 percent efficient.
Be sure to take the time to read the entire fact sheet and let us know your thoughts on energy efficiency in the comments below. Anyone going to try the Solar Gadget Charger? I wonder if it will work with my iPod?