Energy Saving Quiz Time!

OK Mapawatt Blog readers, I'm asking for your help.  We're working on a quiz to put up on the Mapawatt Facebook page and I'm having a little difficulty coming up with engaging questions.  There are two issues I have:

  1. I want good questions, not stuff like "How much CO2 is your TV responsible for?" or  "What is vampire energy?".  We need questions that will cause people to think and take action, not just skim over.
  2. I want questions that are applicable to people in a wide range of climates.  You see, because so much of our energy consumption is based on where we live (not to mention what makes up our energy sources) I would like to find questions that apply to everyone, no matter where they live or how they get their energy.

So, it sounds simple, but when it comes down to it, it takes a little thought.  But hey, if millions of people will play Farmville on Facebook, surely they will take the time to do an energy quiz.  Right?

Here's what I'm thinking about so far (sorry, I'm not giving out answers yet):

  • What is your monthly electricity bill measured in?
  • What temperature should your water heater be set at?
  • Regarding total energy (including electricity, heating, transportation, industrial, etc.) what original source provides the most? (coal, petroleum, nuclear, solar/wind turbine, natural gas)
  • True or False:  Compared to an incandescent, a CFL will pay for itself in a few months?

So that's what I have so far (I do have a few surprises up my sleeve).  Please leave your quiz question ideas in the comments!  You'll see the answers (and the corresponding blog posts) in a few days on our Facebook page.

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Which power generator is the most efficient - Internal Combustion or Electric motor?
Chris, Here are a couple of questions: What typical home appliance (excluding heating/cooling systems) uses the most energy? How much do you pay (per kwh) for electricity? The first question may make people think about how much energy typical home appliances use so they can make a more informed choice when they replace them. The second question may make people curious about how much they actually pay for electricty. Most electric bills contain fees and other costs so the price per kwh is not obvious without reading the bill. How many people just pay the bill and ignore the actual cost?
Which is better fuel source to heat water: Natural Gas or Electricity? Financially the answer depends on the relative costs of each from local utility. CO2-wise it depends on how your utility generates electricity. How much will switching an incandescent light bulb to CFL really save you? CFL packaging usually touts savings of $40, $50 or more over the life of the bulb. Actual answer will depend on how much you pay per kWh, and on how long the CFL really lasts. They don't do well when turned on/off a lot - so a CFL in a closet which is only turned on for a couple of minutes at a time will probably fail before it racks up enough energy savings to pay for itself.

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