Austin's NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

How Much Energy Do We Use at the Holidays?

8325559407_e9abd4d5ca_c.jpg
flickr.com/pagedooley
/
The holidays can mean lumps of coal - not in stockings, but in power plants.

The holidays are here and it might surprise people how energy-intensive they can be. Commentator Michael Webber is keeping a list - and checking it twice - on some ways we burn fuel this time of year.

For starters: There's the energy involved in travel to visit family – those long road trips over the hills and through the woods to visit Grandma, plane flights, even train travel.

Then there's the energy for heating our homes during cold weather. In the northeast that's likely fuel oil; gas in the Southwest; and electricity in the South. Then there are all those presents!

Listen to the audio above too add more to the list.

 

Michael Webber is the Deputy Director of the Energy Institute, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he trains a new generation of energy leaders through research and education at the intersection of engineering, policy, and commercialization.
Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.