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Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Oil Use

Over a quarter of the oil consumed in the United States is used in our homes, businesses, and industries. Reducing this oil use is an achievable goal with significant health, environmental, and economic benefits.

Reducing industrial oil use

The U.S. industrial sector accounts for over 20 percent of total U.S. oil consumption. In addition to using oil to power industry, petroleum products are used as a feedstock for chemicals and plastics.

Fortunately, there are many cost-effective solutions that can be applied across industries to reduce their oil use. These solutions include replacing existing equipment with more efficient alternatives, pursuing innovations in processes and production technologies, using combined-heat-and-power systems, and relying on recycled petroleum feedstocks.

Leveraging these solutions could reduce total U.S. oil consumption by around 1.5 million barrels per day by 2035, while also saving money, reducing global warming emissions, and protecting public health. Not a bad plan.

Reducing residential and commercial oil use

In some parts of the country, particularly the northeast, oil is an important energy source for residential and commercial buildings, especially as a heat source.

Our Half the Oil plan projects that increasing the energy efficiency of buildings—and using alternatives to residential and commercial heating oil—could reduce total U.S. oil consumption by around .5 million barrels per day by 2035—without limiting our ability to heat our homes.

Learn more about home efficiency improvements in our 2012 publication, “Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low Carbon Living."

Images (top; bottom): Flickr, Vattenfall; Flickr, Lee Lilly
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