Cars vs houses - What consumes more energy?

Consumer Reports News: August 27, 2009 05:16 PM

With all the national focus on migrating to electric cars and other alternative fuels, many consumers would likely say yes. But according to official statistics from the Energy Information Agency ( EIA), more petroleum is burned in heating homes and producing electricity for home consumption than in the cars consumers drive.
 
Counting the overall energy demand for use in homes, versus cars in 2008, the EIA estimates U.S. consumers use 21,637 trillion btus of energy in their homes, versus 16,765 btus in their cars. So consumers use about 30 percent more energy used in their homes than their car. (These numbers don’t include diesel fuel or commercial energy usage.)
 
The numbers point out that consumers can make a bigger difference in saving energy by insulating doors and windows, buying energy efficient appliances, and installing programmable thermostats, for example, than by buying the latest hybrid car.
 
To find ways to make your home more energy efficient, check out our home energy saving guide. Meanwhile, see our choices for best-in-class fuel-efficient cars.

Check out our guide to fuel economy for more on saving fuel and alterative fuels.

Eric Evarts


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