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HOW WE USE ENERGY

Energy Use in Transportation, Energy Use in Industry, Energy Use in Homes and Buildings

Energy Energy is used to light up this house.

There are three main ways we use energy. We use it to travel, to manufacture goods, and in our homes and businesses. Which of these three uses the most energy? You might be surprised at the answer!

Energy Use in Transportation

Motor vehicles are everywhere. There are over 240 million motor vehicles in the United States alone! All of them need energy to run. Think of all the energy they must use! Yet, even if you added in all the airplanes, trains, and boats, transportation still comes in third in energy use. About 28 percent of the energy in the United States is used for transportation.

Energy Vehicles use a lot of energy.

Energy Airplanes use a lot of energy.

Energy Use in Industry

Almost every item you buy is manufactured. The manufacturing process uses tremendous amounts of energy. Energy is used to find or create new materials to make the goods we buy. These materials must be heated, cooled, molded into shapes, and assembled. Even the cooked foods you buy in the supermarket used energy in the cooking process. Making all the items you can buy, eat, or wear uses only 32 percent of our energy.

Energy This manufacturing plant uses energy.

Energy Use in Homes and Buildings

Homes and commercial buildings use more energy than either industry or transportation.

The homes we live in use energy to keep people warm in the winter and cool in the summer. All our appliances, from TV sets to microwave ovens, use energy.

Commercial buildings include places where people work but usually don't live. These include buildings such as your school, stores, hospitals, post offices, and many other types of buildings.

Think of all the different ways your home and school use energy. Now you can see why homes and commercial buildings use 40 percent of our energy, more than manufacturing or transportation.

Energy

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsEnergy