In the United States, electricity is generated using a variety of different products. This includes fossil fuels, nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, and then a very small percentage of wind, biomass/waste, and others.
While the mix is similar to the UK, the United States still uses approximately 8% more fossil fuels in the production mix. Further, the UK is emphasising more heavily on wind generation, particularly within Scotland and the north of England. The UK generates approximately 8% of its energy from wind while the United States only generates approximately 1%.
Throughout the United States, the cost of energy is lower than that of the UK. Much of this has to do with the land size. Depending on the area, the cost can be as much as a 50% savings compared to the UK. There are energy contracts in the UK with a standing charge that represents static costs such as distribution and transmission. How people buy their energy can also vary. More people in the US depend solely on electricity and go directly through a local electric company. While some people use natural gas, this is found more prevalently through the northern states.
In the United States, many states don’t have the ability to choose a utility provider of their choice based on consumption habits and financial needs. The energy company will choose the default energy supplier to distribute power, but this is generally a more expensive option. In the UK, energy was fully liberated in 1990, privatising the energy markets to allow competition and therefore eliminate local monopolies.
The energy efficiency in the United States is highly dependent on whether a state has been deregulated or not. When deregulation has not occurred and there is no choice, Americans will explore solar power as well as investigate various tax breaks and incentives.
Businesses, in particular, have the ability to take advantage of investment tax credits for solar systems and purchase energy-efficient appliances and equipment. It is also possible for business owners to connect with others within their community to learn about energy challenges and create strategies with Demand Response programs.