Energy 101

Power LinesEvery time we turn on an appliance or turn up the heat, we are making a choice that affects more than the size of our monthly energy bill. We are making a choice about our economy, our environment and our health.

Becoming a smarter energy user makes a tangible difference by supporting:

  • Lower prices and improved reliability.  Our utilities must be ready at all times to produce as much power as we need at any given moment, including the cold winter nights and sweltering summer days when demand rises sharply. This is typically when electricity production costs are the highest and they are ultimately passed on to consumers. If we lower our energy use, we will reduce the power peaks when electricity is most expensive. “Shaving” these peaks helps keep prices down and makes the delivery of our power more reliable.
  • Reduced air pollution. Virginians rely on electricity to power their homes and businesses and support their quality of life. However, pollution caused by the combustion of fossil fuels has damaging effects on Virginia’s climate, as well as its air and water quality. The consequences are seen in the health of its citizens and wildlife. Electricity conservation contributes to the reduction of both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Limit the need for power plants and power lines. Our energy use is growing. The average American house is 30% larger than it was a decade ago. We have more devices that require more power and the number of Virginia residents is climbing, with nearly 1 million more people today than 10 years ago. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to value our power and reduce our energy use so that we limit our need for more energy capacity.

The best way to address these issues is to save energy. Doing so will save money and ensure a reliable power infrastructure for our homes, schools and industries, while reducing emissions that are harmful to our planet and our health.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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