How We Use Energy at Home

A look at how consumer habits have changed over the years.


This story first appeared on the Atlantic website and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

From gadgets to kitchen appliances to heating, AC, and beyond, this two-minute video reveals what it takes to power an American home. Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic‘s senior technology editor, explains how shifting demographics have influenced energy use since 1980. Featuring animation by Lindsey Testolin, this clip is part of a six-part video series in The User’s Guide to Energy special report.

If this short overview leaves you wanting more, be sure to check out Kyle Thetford’s “A Very Short History of How Americans Use Energy at Home” for a more in-depth look at this topic.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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