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Energy Saving Homebodies

January 31, 2018

As Americans spend more time at home, overall energy use is dropping.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Stay-at-home Americans. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Americans might be fighting climate change by watching TV, shopping online, and playing video games. This according to a report in the journal Joule, by University of Texas at Austin researcher Ashok Sekar and his colleagues at Rochester Institute of Technology. Using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they found that people are spending much more time at home in recent years than they did back in 2003.

ASHOK SEKAR (University of Texas at Austin):

They spend more time sitting at computers, people are sleeping a lot, and even they are actualy eating more at home.

HIRSHON:

Those lifestyle changes saved 1700 trillion BTUs in 2012, or 1.8% of US energy expenditures, much of it due to reduced travel. The work could help inform decisions regarding the nation’s energy grid, transportation system and urban planning. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon