Where does your energy come from? Analyzing your energy bill

In this activity students trace the sources of their electricity, heating and cooling, and other components of their energy use though the use of their family's utility bills and information from utility and government websites.

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Mary Savina
Faculty Career Enhancement Project at ACM Associated Colleges of the Midwest

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Students must contact their families to get a copy of a recent energy bill. Since this could take several weeks, it is best that this task gets assigned at the beginning of the semester, far in advance of doing this activity.

As an alternative, students may be able to access energy consumption from their school through facilities management.

A common source of confusion comes from the variety of energy sources used for electricity, heating and cooling. Some students will come from households where climate control - as well as lights, etc. - is all electric. Others will have energy bills that are split between electric units (such as kWH) and thermal units (such as BTU). Ask students to convert everything into kWh.

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