Do the Math

  • With some simple arithmetic and the help of our Gasoline Energy Equivalents and Conversion Calculator, you can relate energy from different sources in varying amounts. A gallon of regular gasoline is a good benchmark to work from; it's familiar to everyone, yet its energy potential, compared to other sources like pounds of coal, therms of natural gas, or kilowatts of electricity, can be surprising.

    We also have a Therms & Barrels Calculator that lets you compare equivalents related to the energy in a barrel of oil.

    When thinking of energy use and potential waste and savings, keep in mind the concept of "pure" energy, no matter how it's expressed or what source it comes from. The important thing is how much energy is needed to do a specific amount of work. Energy consciousness means thinking about how efficiently you can apply the energy to the work, ranging from how you manage your water heater to how you approach and leave a stoplight in your car.

    No one can be entirely energy efficient, and we all have thresholds of patience, comfort, and enthusiasm. But energy consciousness itself, and the formation of at least some good personal energy habits, will make a big difference when we put all our habits together. Other good calculators:

    Soltrex Interactive Energy Calculator
    EIA Energy Kids Page Calculator
    U.S. Department of Energy Calculators