IE Questions: Fossil Fuel Primer

“Fossil fuel” is not exactly an obscure term. Most people have the basic understanding that fossil fuels–coal, oil and natural gas–were formed from the buried remains of ancient plants and animals, submerged under heat and pressure for hundreds of millions of years. But, just because they’re formed by the same process, doesn’t mean they are all one and the same.

What Data Can And Can’t Tell Us About Our Winter Energy Consumption

It was a bad winter, full of polar vortices and an endless march of blizzards. And according to data from the Energy Information Administration, Americans spent more on heat this winter than last winter: $14.0 billion more, a 4.4% jump.  Here’s what this data tells us:

As consumers, we spent more on energy as a whole this winter than last. We spent a little less (3%) on transportation. We spent 10% more on electricity.

How Much Electricity Do You Use Each Month?

When you look at your monthly electricity bill, you probably focus on the number with a dollar sign in front of it. But there’s another value listed: how much energy you actually used. If you are a perfectly average American living in a perfectly average household, your monthly electricity bill will read 911 kilowatt hours (kWh), which costs $114. But most of us don’t live in perfectly average households. (The state that comes closest to matching the average monthly electricity usage is Ohio).