To ensure a safe environment for all visitors, the Our Energy Future exhibit is limited to one group at a time. For more information, visit our Safety Guidelines page.
Our Energy Future is full of tips about reducing energy use at home and hands-on activities. Learn about alternative energy sources, the rooftop solar array that powers part of the Museum and more. Bring the entire family to experience this fun and engaging exhibit.
- Digital Playground
With the touch of a finger, explore ways to conserve energy and save money at home using a computer interactive. Learn how your home energy use compares to your neighbors’, check out what area residents are doing to save energy and make a commitment to lower your energy use.
- Giant Abacus Table
This giant chart reveals the top eight uses of energy in a typical home in North Central Florida. Rate yourself using the abacus and discover where you can reduce your energy consumption.
- Choose your Lighting
You can save energy and money by using efficient lighting. Discover the best and most energy efficient ways to light your home through this interactive component.
- Power Strip Savings
Did you know if you plug appliances into a power strip and turn it off when not in use, you can save 5-10 percent on your electric bill? Find out what other steps you can take to conserve energy.
- Solar Panel
Take a close-up look at photovoltaic solar panels like those used on homes, businesses and other structures.
- Thermostat Savvy
Did you know heating and cooling use about 35 percent of household energy? Learn more about energy use through this touchscreen interactive.
- In 2010 the University of Florida installed a 75 kW solar array on the Museum’s roof. The system produces about 8 percent of the power consumed by the Museum.
- The U.S. ranks first in the world for energy consumption per capita. Americans use 8.35 tons of oil equivalent, the amount of energy released by burning 1 ton of oil, per person. In Florida, most energy is used for air-conditioning in summer and heating in winter. Homes in Florida use 6 percent of the electricity produced in the U.S.
- Most electronics draw power even when “off.” The biggest offenders are TVs, DVRs, cable/satellite boxes and laptop computers.
- Adjusting your thermostat one degree higher in the summer and lower in the winter may reduce energy cost by 4 percent.
- Making cans from recycled aluminum uses 95 percent less energy than using raw materials.
- Each person in the U.S. produces 4½ pounds of garbage a day.
- Within six months, 99 percent of the items we harvest, mine, process and transport are thrown away.
- Community Profile videos (produced by Daniel Shifrin; closed captions by Tim Hall)
- Sustainable UF
- Gainesville Green
- UF/IFAS Program for Resource Efficient Communities
- Rebuilding Together, North Central Florida’s Community Weatherization Coalition (CWC)
- UF Shimberg Center
- Earth Givers, Neutral Gainesville Initiative
Additional support from: