Each day electricity plays a key role in keeping homes and businesses running smoothly, powers transportation that take people to work, school and other places, and supplies electricity to appliances in all sectors. The primary use of electricity varies depending on the place where it is used and the nature of the facility. In homes and small offices, approximately 55 percent of electricity consumed is used for appliances and lighting fixtures, while air conditioning units use nearly 25 percent of household electricity.
In the United States, most electricity (37 percent) is used by residences, while the commercial sector follows closely behind by consuming approximately 34 percent. The industrial and transportation sectors, such as trains and electric vehicles, also use electricity directly on a smaller scale to power facilities. Electricity powers small lamps and items such as radios, televisions, microwaves and hairdryers in homes. It is used to heat and cool homes and offices and helps to light office buildings and warehouses. Electricity is used to operate appliances in homes and some commercial and industrial facilities such as refrigerators and other equipment. Electricity demands are nearly constant in all sectors, and disrupted supplies from power outages and blackouts can stop operations and inconvenience those affected.