In countries across the world, many individuals and families are reducing their energy usage. There have been any number of campaigns to encourage that reduction, like Earth Day and Earth Hour. Those campaigns have been successful and make a measurable difference in an array of developed countries. However, there are still sectors of society using major amounts of electrical power: some on a regular basis across each year and others in very short periods of time.

The Super Bowl

One short-term event which consumes a lot of energy is The Superbowl, America’s yearly championship football game. Often hailed as the most-watch televised sports program in the world, used 4,600 megawatts for the 2013 show. This figure includes the power for associated hotels and the local convention center on the same day. It is still a staggering amount given that 11,280 kilowatthours (kWh) can power the average family home for a full year.


Farming undoubtedly makes a more critical contribution to society than sports games do, and the energy used by agriculture is spread across the entirety of each year. Still, the overall energy usage is significant. 2002 USDA figures affirmed that agriculture in the United States used “U.S. agricultural sector used an estimated 1.7 quadrillion Btu of energy on an annual basis. This was primarily used to power equipment, vehicles, and machines, along with keeping farm buildings the proper temperature.

Data Centers

Many cities are having to accommodate a new drain on energy resources: data centers. These centers are used by companies to house and operate their Information Technology operations. Each area in a data center typically is filled with racks of servers and related computer equipment. Those servers tend to be fully powered 24 hours a day so they can facilitate data transfer for the companies that own them. They also need to be kept cool to avoid overheating, which can damage electronics and impair efficiency.

All of those functions need power, with data centers worldwide using 30 billion watts of electricity per year – a quarter of that usage happening in the United States alone. With increases in online shopping, VoIP phones, and social networking, the need for large data centers will only increase. Correspondingly, so will the energy they need.


While data centers are amongst the fastest growing large-scale energy users, the industrial sector remains at the top. 24.0 quadrillion Btu of energy was consumed by industry in 2011, and that number is projected to increase every year. Because many companies get a substantial part of their delivered energy from fossil fuels, this high rate of usage presents an ongoing detriment to the environment. Fortunately, there are a number of initiatives and government incentive programs targeted at reducing industry’s energy use.


It comes as no surprise that another top user of energy is the transportation sector. After all, every freeway and even small city roads are filled with cars around the clock. Additionally, energy hogging vehicles like SUVs have become very popular, and that adds to the total energy usage in this sector. In total, a full 28% of all the energy used in the U.S. each year powers transportation.

Fortunately, this is also an area that pro-environment organizations are focused on changing. Campaigns to reduce the massive energy cost of transportation focus on getting people to travel together and “carpool” instead of all using separate vehicles. Walking, riding bikes, and using mass transit also help.

Moving Forward

There is always hope for reducing energy usage, including for the areas detailed in this article. People simply need to get informed and commit to making a difference. In the future, consider having your website’s information technology on low power during times of minimum traffic, walking or carpooling to work, turning off agricultural equipment when not in use, and even turning off lights in empty rooms during the Super Bowl.

This is a guest post by freelance writer Jonathan Mehlig for Texas Electricity Providers. If you are looking for the best energy prices in Texas, check out their site. Jonathan usually covers green technology topics and loves to spend his free time in the nature.