Exernalities and Public Goods > Facts About Energy

Who Uses Energy?

Energy use is commonly broken down into four categories: (1) residential and commercial, (2) industrial, (3) electric utilities, and (4) transportation. Residential and commercial (office buildings and stores) are grouped together because energy is used the same way in both: primarily for lighting, heating and air conditioning. The industrial category includes mines and factories, which use large amounts of energy as part of producing their products. Electric utilities are separate from the industrial category because they really just transform energy from one form into another. The key characteristic of the transportation sector is that it requires energy that can be carried around easily.
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Peter J Wilcoxen, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 06/04/2004