Thursday, August 07, 2008

How Clean is the Electricity You Use?

The Environmental Protection Agency developed a power profiler that:

  • Determines your power grid region based on your ZIP code and electric utility,
  • Compares the fuel mix and air emissions rates of the electricity in your region to the national average, and
  • Determines the air emissions impacts of electricity use in your home or business.
To start, all you need is a zip code, check it out. Hat tip to Nick Loris.


Matthew66 said...

My problem with this site is that of the green energy options offered for my zip code, none allows me the option to purchase 100% of my electricity from nuclear (even though Indian Point supplies 50% of the electricity for my zip code).

If the nuclear utilities would offer consumers the option to purchase 100% of their electricity from nuclear, it would at least provide some data on how many people actually favor nuclear power enough to use it as their exclusive source of electricity.

Maybe they could call it Blue Power, blue for clean skies, blue for Cerenkov radiation.

Karen Street said...

Unfortunately, EPA doesn't consider upstream costs. Does anyone know of a site where I can use my zip code to find my greenhouse gas emissions from electricity including these upstream costs?

Anonymous said...

The superstition that CO2 causes global warming is alive and well at this EPA site. Anybody that still buys into that is willfully ignorant of the science (and the 31,000 scientists who disagree as well.)

CO2 def. from EPA site:
"A naturally occurring gas, and also a by-product of burning fossil fuels and biomass, as well as land-use changes and other industrial processes. It is the principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas that affects the earth's radiative balance. It is the reference gas against which other greenhouse gases are measured and therefore has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1."

Matthew66 said...

I am not an atmospheric scientist so cannot attest to the truth or otherwise of global warming. What I do know is that burning fossil fuels for energy severely degrades the air quality in the surrounding areas, and the bigger the plant the larger the area.

I believe that when we make decisions about human activity, we should always favor those options that permit satisfactory advancement of the human condition with the least environmental impact possible. There will always be tradeoffs, but I don't think that we should be destroying mountain ranges to extract coal when a viable alternative is available that does not require the destruction of large swathes of the countryside.

Anonymous said...

This "profiler" has serious limitations. It asks for a specific ZIP code, and confirms which specific utility you are using, but then just presents (outputs) the generation mix for the entire "region", the "region" being a very large, multi-state area.

Try entring a Chicago-area ZIP code. The profiler will confirm for you that your utility company is Commonwealth Edison (which is over 80% nuclear). Then the profiler will tell you that your "region" gets 73% of its power from coal, which is higher than the national average. It goes on to report that, therefore, our Chicagoan's emissions of CO2, SO2, etc.. are higher than the national average.


Beyond useless, in fact. Certainly for the Chicago case. Since it's giving out info that is literally the opposite of the truth, it is better to not know anything at all.

Jim Hopf

Anonymous said...

% Long Island
5 non-hydro renewables (trash burning?),
0 hydro,
0 nuclear,
58 oil (!!!),
35 gas (!),
0 coal.

Fundie antinukes and their BS around Shoreham NPP obviously *increased* out oil dependency!