The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Saved is Energy Found

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted July 7, 2009

The greatest "new" energy source available today is the reduced demand brought about by greater energy efficiency. It's the cleanest, quickest and most cost-effective way to extend today's energy supply into the future. It's wise to practice energy efficiency, and the oil and natural gas industry is doing its part.

In 2003, API member refineries pledged to improve their energy efficiency by 10 percent by 2012. One energy-saving technique is a process called cogeneration, in which the heat produced in the refining process is converted into electricity that helps power the refinery. The energy saved by this process and others in a single year was equivalent to the amount of gasoline consumed by more than 530,000 cars or the electricity used by 950,000 households.

America is more energy efficient today than it was a generation ago, but it's not just business and industry that can make an impact on energy use and efficiency. Individuals can play a major role, too.

Chevron has developed an online tool called the Energy Generator widget that can help each of us determine the best ways to save energy in our personal lives. According to the Energy Generator, if I take public transportation to work one day a week, I save enough energy to microwave 324 bags of popcorn. Party, anyone?

Feel free to post the Energy Generator widget on your personal blog and Web pages, and find out more about how you can use energy more wisely.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.