Energy is an integral part of Americans’ lives and it’s an important driver of the US economy. Understanding how you use energy can help cut emissions and reduce energy bills. Check out our Top Ten tools and calculators from around the web that can help you figure out your relationship with energy: how it’s used, how it's produced and how you can use it more efficiently.
10. My Trip Calculator — US Department of Energy’s calculator gives you trip directions and uses inputs about the make, model and year of your car to estimate how many gallons of gas you will use and how much that fuel will cost.
9. Home Energy Saver — Brought to you by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Home Energy Saver (HES) gives users customized results about their energy use at home. The HES also gives energy-saving recommendations ranked by their payback time.
8. Green Power Locator — The EPA’s Green Power Locator allows you to click on your state on an interactive map to find out about green power options. The Locator will generate a table that shows green power products that are available, including a mix of wind, solar and/or other renewable energy options for your electricity supply.
7. Can a Hybrid Save Me Money? —This calculator compares a regular gasoline–only model car with its hybrid counterpart to determine how much (or if) a hybrid will save you money.
6. Home Energy Yardstick — The EPA’s Home Energy Yardstick provides an assessment of your home annual energy use compared to similar homes.
5. My Plug-in Hybrid Calculator — This calculator lets you plug in your basic driving habits to see how much money and fuel a plug-in hybrid car would consume on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
4. eGallon: Compare the costs of driving with electricity — Find out how much it costs to fuel an electric vehicle in your state versus the average cost of a gallon of gasoline.
3. How clean is the electricity I use? Power Profiler — The EPA’s Power Profiler helps you learn about energy in your ZIP code. The Power Profiler will inform you of the fuel mix and emission rates for your region and compare it to the national average.
2. Save energy with your friends: Opower — See how your energy use stacks up against friends and homes across the US. Join groups and discover how you can save even more. (Via Facebook.)
1. EnergySavvy — In less than five minutes get a home energy report that tells you how much you can save and what actions you can take to get the biggest bang for your buck.
After using a few of these tools, you should have a better understanding of your energy use. As a next step consider getting an energy audit. And check out the DSIRE database to see what incentives and rebates are available in your state or through your utility. You can find these resources and others on our Energy Tools page.