Water ‘Directly Responsible’ for 12.6% of US Energy Use

by | Oct 4, 2012

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Over 12 percent of US energy use is directly related to water consumption, according to research from The University of Texas at Austin.

In Evaluating the energy consumed for water use in the United States slightly more than 46 quads of energy, or just under half of US energy consumption, are directly or indirectly related to water use. Just over 33 quads of energy – a quad is equal to a quadrillion BTUs – was used for indirect water services to make steam for electricity space heating and industrial process us, the report says. All non-water related energy consumption totals 51.5 quads, the report says. Some 12.3 quads of that energy was used for direct water services such as direct steam use, heating, chilling, pressurizing and pumping water. This equates to 12.6 percent of US energy use, the report says.

To put that in context, the report points out that roughly 25 percent more energy is used to heat, cool or pump water than is used for lighting in the commercial and residential sectors in the US. In reference to this fact, a blog post by Scientific American points out that, while LED light bulbs are readily available in any hardware or home store, low-flow faucets and shower heads are less easy to find.

According to results of a poll conducted by The University of Texas at Austin in October last year, less than 14 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction.

Of more than 3,400 consumers surveyed, 84 percent were worried about U.S. consumption of oil from foreign sources and 76 percent about a lack of progress in developing better ways to use energy efficiently and develop renewable sources, according to the Energy Poll.

Some 68 percent of those polled are concerned about the energy efficiency of their homes and 60 percent about global energy issues.

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