Sustainability and electricity
Where does electricity come from? Most people use electricity and see it as something that is infinite and probably don't give a second thought about its source. This is quite understandable, considering electricity looks clean; it doesn't cause any noise pollution or direct air pollution. The fact is that most electricity is produced by burning coal, and the use of nuclear power plants. Simply stated, the more electricity used, the more pollution created: and the more pollution created, the worst will be the habitat of human beings.
In 2003, the U.S. attained most of its electrical energy
from burning coal and the use of nuclear power plants
Burning coal produces pollution which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and adds to the "green house" effect which in turn, warms the Earth. Burning coal also produces sulfur dioxide, a main ingredient of acid rain. Furthermore, fossil fuels is not a renewable energy source and the more fossil fuel that is burnt, the less there is left for the future. The running of nuclear power plants is the second largest source for electrical energy consumption. Electrical energy from nuclear power is produced from small amounts of fuel derived from uranium, a metal found under the earth's surface. Similar, to fossil fuels, there is a limited source of uranium and thus, it is not a renewable energy source. Furthermore, the radioactive waste produced from uranium is buried and sealed up to allow the radioactivity to decay. Also, a nuclear accident can be a major disaster, and therefore, a lot of money is spent on security. The fact of the matter is that the average American home causes more air pollution than the average car. "Saving electricity doesn't just put money in your pocket, it helps keep the air and water clean, too."
What does this mean for the future? Will there be such a concept as global sustainability? It is a fact, that no city is sustainable if it absorbs more resources than it generates. And the fact is that humans are absorbing more natural resources than what is generated by the Earth. As the users of natural resources, the only way to preserve sustainability would be to reduce consumption. The cost of electricity
The measurement of electrical power is known as watts. In order to determine how much energy a household consumes, the amount of time an electrical device is running must be calculated. For example, a 100 watt light bulb means that in one hour it uses 100 watts. An average central air conditioner in one hour would use 3500 watts. This is known as watt hours the amount of electrical power in one hour. Furthermore, in order to find out exactly how much energy an average household uses, the amount of watts would add up to a very large number. Therefore, what is known as a kilowatt-hour is used.
There are many factors in computing an electric bill, like, for example, there are different rates for different parts of the country. However, generally there is one way which is used. First, the electric company calculates how many kilowatt-hours (the amount of kilowatts in one hour) and is multiplied by the current rate. Also, some electric companies have various rates, for example, they may be a base fee and then for any additional kilowatts used there may be a higher rate. For example, for the first 500 kilowatts, the rate may be only 6 cents per kilowatt however, for every additional kilowatt it can jump to 11 cents per kilowatt. Some electric companies may charge a higher rate during the maximum amount of electricity being used. This is known a demand charge.
As it can be seen here, the highest demand of
electricity during the day is at the after noon time
9000 wattsGas Stove
1920 wattsLights (8) Yellow
1000 wattsHair Blow-dryer
512 wattsWashing Machine
500 wattsAir Conditioner