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July 2021 EnergyWise SM Tip: Lawn Mowers


July 2021 EnergyWiseSM Tip: Lawn Mowers

By: Energy Efficiency Program Manager Cory Fuehrer

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, we use about 580 million gallons of gas in lawn mowers each year. While this is only about 0.4% of the total 146,000,000,000 gallons of gasoline consumed annually, could switching to an electric mower make a difference while providing benefits to you?

Let’s assume your lawn’s size is the same as Nebraska’s average of 17,393 square feet. Using a 20-inch push mower and averaging a speed of 3 miles per hour, it will take you 43 minutes each time you mow. During that time, an average gasoline-powered push mower will use about 0.52 gallons while a cordless battery-powered unit will need about 0.42 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to complete the job.

Over the course of a full season, you mow 25 times. That calculates to using 13 gallons of gasoline or about 10.5 kWh of electricity to charge your mower’s battery. With gas at $3.00 per gallon and electricity at 10¢ per kWh, you will spend $39.00 or $1.05 for fuel respectively. J.D. Power and Associates reports that the average lifespan of a lawn mower ranges between seven and 10 years. Over its lifetime, the battery-powered mower saves $266 to $380 in energy costs!

When it comes to efficiency, electric mowers leave their gas-powered counterparts in the dust! All fuels, including electricity, can be measured by the number of British thermal units (Btus) they contain. Gasoline has around 114,000 Btus per gallon. Electricity has 3,413 Btus per kWh. Using the values from above, a savings of more than 97% is accredited to electric mowers.

Other reasons for choosing electric mowers are:

  •  No emission of nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other air-borne particulates
  •  75 percent quieter than gasoline mowers – no need for ear plugs
  •  Less maintenance – no oil, spark plug or air filter changes necessary
  •  No concern about spilling gas
  •  Lighter and easier to store. Some models fold up against a wall
  •  Current lithium ion batteries can complete most lawns with one charge

Now, your local utility and Nebraska Public Power District want to help make the conversion even easier with a 10% incentive on any new battery powered or corded electric lawn mower. Contact them or visit www.nppd.com to find further details, as well as information on other EnergyWiseSM incentives for implementing energy efficient technologies.

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