Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Home or Highway: Which Uses More Energy?

Source: iStock
Cars and houses

You use energy at home and while driving, but it's hard to know which is costing you more. While household spending is easy totrack through your utility bills, fuel use for transportation is a little harder to pin down. So how does your home energy budget compare to your gasoline budget? To find out, let's do some math.

The typical American household consumes about 90 million Btu (British thermal units) of energy a year, according to U.S. Department of Energy statistics, at a cost of about $2,000.

That same typical household has two vehicles that travel an average of about 20,000 miles per year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The combined average fuel economy of cars and light trucks is 21.4 miles per gallon. That means that the average household uses about 935 gallons of gasoline (nearly 108 million Btu) annually for travel. 

With gasoline prices currently averaging $2.69 per gallon nationwide, that comes to around $2,500.

These are just estimates, of course. Your household usage will vary depending on the size and age of your home, as well as the number and type of vehicles you own. If you have one of those "typical" households with two or more vehicles, however, you may be guzzling more energy on the road.

Saving energy and money

The best way to put the brakes on your fuel costs is to drive less; walk or ride a bicycle whenever you can. When you are behind the wheel, follow these tips to drive more efficiently:

  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage usually decreases at speeds above 50 miles per hour. Driving slower is not only safer, it can save you money as well.
  • Avoid hauling cargo on your roof. Cargo on your roof increases drag (wind resistance), which reduces fuel economy.
  • Remove extra weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones.
  • Avoid idling. Idling uses up to half a gallon of fuel per hour without getting you anywhere. Shut off your engine when your vehicle is parked.
  • Use cruise control. Using cruise control while driving on the highway keeps your vehicle running at a constant speed, which helps save fuel.

If you're looking to purchase a new car or truck, see Fueleconomy.gov. It's a great resource comparing models side-by-side and finding the most fuel-efficient vehicles available.

More From APCO

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Use Online Form Report Outages On Your Mobile Phone

Report Outages On Your Mobile Phone

How We Restore Power Learn more

How We Restore Power

Learn the steps APCO takes to quickly and safely get the power back on

Learn more Create Your Own Emergency Outage Kit

Create Your Own Emergency Outage Kit

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2015 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy for Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)

Scope

This Privacy Policy applies only to AppalachianPower.com

Other Websites in the AEP family of sites may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each site. Throughout this site, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of AppalachianPower.com. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.

Consent

By using this site, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve our site through analysis of user activities on the site. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain pages of this site, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to AEP’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to AEP (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for AEP);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

Also, AEP reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.

Security

AEP takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from AEP may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

AEP reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on September 12, 2011.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to APCO alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...

×
  • Log In
  • Register
  • 1-800-956-4237