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How Clean Is the Electricity You Use?

Jerry Jackson, Ph.D.'s picture
President, Jackson Associates

Jerry Jackson has provided energy market analysis, software and utility customer databases and analysis to more than two-hundred energy technology companies, energy service providers, utilities...

  • Member since 2014
  • 4 items added with 2,856 views
  • Mar 23, 2022

This post was prompted by a question from an Energy Sustainability Assessment Tool user.  ( )

Question: “My current annual emissions are more than twice as much as where I previously lived even though my energy use is similar – how is that possible?”

Answer: Utility generation systems vary widely in their use of coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro and other resources across the country which makes their electric generation emissions profiles different.  In your case you moved to a location where the electric generation is less “clean” than where you previously lived.

These carbon emissions differentials are large across US geographic areas – easily a factor of 4 or more.

The bad news is that your electricity use emits more greenhouse gasses than the average utility system; however, the good news is that your reductions in electric use save more than the average.

Take-away for others:  Try out the App to find out if your electricity use reductions have a greater impact on GHG emissions.  It takes about one minute and requires only information at hand – no looking up utility bills.  The App also provides a sustainability score and energy cost comparisons to compare your emissions and energy use to similar dwelling units in your ZIP code area along with low-cost tips to reduce your energy use. 


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Jerry Jackson, Ph.D.'s picture
Thank Jerry for the Post!
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