How Clean is Your Electricity? Use the EPA's Power Profiler

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Power Profiler tells U.S. residents where their electricity comes from, and offers suggests for switching to green energy.

Knowledge equals power, but most of us couldn’t make more than a best guess at where our own electricity comes from.

A new tool shows where your electricity comes from and how to find green options.

Image courtesy of U.S. EPA's Power Profiler.

Residents of the U.S. can fix that with a nifty “power profiler” tool from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For instance, using the Cambridge, Mass., zip code 02142, the power profiler indicates that the offices of MIT Sloan Management Review get the bulk of their electricity from gas and nuclear — 40.8% and 27.9% respectively. Coal, which makes up 48.5% of the national fuel mix, makes up only 15.1% of the Cambridge fuel mix.

The profile includes an emissions rate comparison, which indicates that Cambridge’s fuel mix results in lower rates of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions compared to the national averages.

The profile also includes suggestions for being proactive, including calculating the actual emissions attributable to the electricity you use in your home or business, thinking about ways for making a home or business more energy efficient and buying green power — power generated from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and biomass.

The database draws from 2007 data from the EPA’s Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID).