79 Energy Efficiency Trivia Questions (Ranked from Easiest to Hardest)

Updated Date:
May 8, 2024
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Energy efficiency is a critical aspect of modern society, with a growing emphasis on reducing energy consumption and finding sustainable energy solutions. The field of energy efficiency encompasses a wide range of areas, including building design, transportation, and renewable energy sources. Whether you're an energy professional, a student of sustainable development, or just someone who wants to learn more about how we can reduce our carbon footprint, this list of energy efficiency trivia questions is sure to challenge and engage you.

From the latest developments in LED lighting and insulation technology, to the history of renewable energy and the science behind it, these trivia questions cover a broad range of topics. You'll test your knowledge of energy-saving practices, learn about new and innovative solutions for reducing energy use, and discover the benefits of energy efficiency for individuals, communities, and the planet as a whole. Whether you're looking to expand your knowledge or just want to put your energy smarts to the test, these trivia questions are a great way to get started.

So why not put your energy efficiency know-how to the test? Brush up on your understanding of the latest technologies, policies, and trends, and see how you measure up against others in the field. Whether you're an energy professional, a student, or just someone who is passionate about sustainability, this list of energy efficiency trivia questions is sure to be both challenging and fun.

79 Energy Efficiency Trivia Questions Ranked From Easiest to Hardest (Updated for 2024)

  1. Located in Vermont, what was the first U.S. city to provide its residents with 100% sustainable energy production that shares its name with a famous Coat Factory founded in 1972?

    Answer: Burlington

  2. Homer Electric will replace gas turbines on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula with lithium-ion Megapacks provided by what car-slash-clean energy company?

    Answer: Tesla

  3. Nest and Ecobee are examples of smart versions of what temperature equipment, that can adjust temperature to not just be more comfortable, but also more efficient for the environment?

    Answer: Thermostat

  4. EV and hybrid car drivers in Rhode Island get a license plate with the signature blue waves turned what color?

    Answer: Green

  5. Wesley Snipes is probably shaking his head over Dyson's energy efficient AM09 Hot & Cool fan and space heater, which is notably missing what pretty central fan part?

    Answer: Blade

  6. A big part of managing any equipment energy is what “T” machine, designed to be rotated by water, gas, or other fluids?

    Answer: Turbine

  7. Solar-powered desalination plants use the sun’s energy to take which shakable mineral you might keep on your kitchen table out of ocean water, thereby making it safe to drink?

    Answer: Salt

  8. In a 2012 speech, Barack Obama compared Boulder City's Copper Mountain Solar Facility to what ginormous hydroelectric piece of infrastructure straddling the Arizona-Nevada border?

    Answer: Hoover Dam

  9. In 1912, Giacomo Ciamician proposed using the sun’s energy to create carbohydrates and oxygen and harnessing the energy, thereby eliminating dependence on fossil fuels. This process mimics what chemical reaction already fundamental to the natural world?

    Answer: Photosynthesis

  10. Car “go-go juice” used to contain tetraethyl lead—until we realized it was a health and environmental hazard. Today, you’re filling up at the pump with the unleaded variety of what liquid?

    Answer: Gasoline

  11. The Japanese yachtsman Kenichi Horie was the first person to use solar power to cross what body of water in 1996?

    Answer: Pacific Ocean

  12. Eventually ordered removed by Reagan, solar panels were installed on the White House roof in the 1970s by which president?

    Answer: Jimmy Carter

  13. A major way that consumers can increase their energy efficiency is to replace light bulbs with what “I” quality? It’s a word meaning to generate light by being heated and is linked to traditional light bulbs.

    Answer: Incandescent

  14. The per capita leaders in the use of solar hot water systems are Israel and what Mediterranean island nation with Greek and Turkish as its official languages?

    Answer: Cyprus

  15. CFLs use far less energy than conventional lightbulbs. The F and L stand for "fluorescent" and "lightbulb." What does the C stand for?

    Answer: Compact

  16. Introduced by Montana Senator James E. Murray, the Resources and Conservation Act of 1959 paved the way for what U.S. government agency to form in 1970?

    Answer: The Environmental Protection Agency

  17. Many fluorescent light bulbs work by vaporizing what metallic element that is a liquid at room temperature?

    Answer: Mercury

  18. What “W” practice involves protecting a building and its interior from the elements, such as sunlight, precipitation, and wind, thereby reducing energy consumption and optimizing energy efficiency?

    Answer: Weatherization

  19. What’s the name for the gasses that trap heat from the sun in the Earth’s atmosphere and warm it up? (Hint: The building of the same name does the same thing to help plants grow).

    Answer: Greenhouse

  20. What term that will make you think of the IRS and taxes is also used when talking about assessing a building to see out energy efficient it is (or isn’t)?

    Answer: Audit

  21. RECs are tradable and non-tangible energy commodities representing proof of a certain amount of energy being generated by more climate-friendly means than fossil fuels. What does REC stand for?

    Answer: Renewable Energy Certificates

  22. A massive solar farm meant to alleviate outages is being sold in blocks to what organization that manages Texas's electrical grid, and whose acronym is only one letter different than a certain futuristic Disney World theme park?

    Answer: ERCOT

  23. During 2021's UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, activists dressed as Pikachu to protest the continued use of coal by what Asian nation?

    Answer: Japan

  24. Also the name of a letter in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, what Volkswagen model does Car and Driver rate as one of the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid, non-electric vehicles of 2021?

    Answer: Golf

  25. What 1962 Rachel Carson book addressed the environmental effects of pesticides? Its two-word title implied that poisoning the environment could stop plant growth entirely.

    Answer: Silent Spring

  26. California’s Sutter Amador Hospital meets more than half its electrical power needs through which renewable source?

    Answer: Solar

  27. American Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn solar energy merit badges after completing a program developed by a national non-profit that goes by what very guessable three-letter acronym?

    Answer: SUN

  28. What three-word term refers to a hypothetical machine that can perform work indefinitely without an external energy source in violation of the laws of thermodynamics?

    Answer: Perpetual motion machine

  29. It is estimated that the Earth receives about 174 PW of energy from the Sun annually. What does "PW" stand for?

    Answer: Petawatt

  30. The U.S.'s leading state in solar energy typically generates more than 30% of the nation's total each month. What state is this?

    Answer: California

  31. The commonly used energy-efficiency certification, LEED, stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental WHAT?

    Answer: Design

  32. What is the term for an electrical grid that combines a variety of operation and energy measures to lower electrical demand? The term makes it sound like the grid could be especially intelligent.

    Answer: Smart

  33. What “S” company offers energy efficient solutions to heating and cooling homes for homes on the East Coast of the U.S.? They share a name with an adjective for an object that has been fastened securely, such as an envelope.

    Answer: Sealed

  34. Commonly used in lightbulbs today due to its energy efficiency, LED is short for what three-word semiconductor light source?

    Answer: Light-emitting diode

  35. What 10-letter “G” word is a kind of energy whose resources are obtained using the heat located below the Earth’s surface?

    Answer: Geothermal

  36. What kind of door test do energy efficiency experts use to test the sealing efficiency of a home, changing air pressures to see how much air escapes? It’s also the word for a machine gardeners use to loudly and quickly move leaves around.

    Answer: Blower Door Test

  37. What term is used by energy efficiency experts to refer to the combined elements of the exterior of a building, such as walls, roof, and foundation? It is also an object used to contain a letter intended for mail.

    Answer: Building envelope

  38. What “C” term refers to a reduction of a customer’s energy use based on personal changes in behavior, reducing end use of energy service? It’s a word often used in terms of preserving natural land and aiding the environment.

    Answer: Conservation

  39. What is the name of the silicate material traditionally used for thermal insulation in buildings that is now banned in many developed countries due to the health risks associated with exposure to this material? This material’s name derives from the Ancient Greek for “unquenchable.”

    Answer: Asbestos

  40. What “R” word precedes “braking” in an energy recovery mechanism in which a moving vehicle is slowed down by converting its kinetic energy into a reusable form? This same word is used to refer to a branch of medicine.

    Answer: Regenerative

  41. If you need to slow down the neutrons in your nuclear reactor, “heavy” water makes a good moderator. What is the chemical name for heavy hydrogen?

    Answer: Deuterium

  42. What term is used for a renewable energy resource that comes from organic matter (for example, wood and manure)?

    Answer: Biomass

  43. “QFs” make steam from the heat produced as waste by a process (e.g., manufacturing) that can be harnessed as an energy source (e.g., to power a wind turbine). What term describes the process QFs use?

    Answer: Cogeneration

  44. Beginning with the letters "P" and "D", what two-word phrase is used to describe building techniques that use natural energy, such as sun, wind, or gravity, to achieve results rather than relying on electricity?

    Answer: Passive Design

  45. Although considerably more energy efficient and longer lasting than traditional incandescent bulbs, CFLs can be problematic to dispose of due to containing which metallic element, number 80 on the periodic table?

    Answer: Mercury

  46. The energy-saving capacity of any technology must also include the amount of energy it takes to produce it. This kind of energy, defined as the sum of all energy required to create a product, has what alliterative name?

    Answer: Embodied Energy

  47. “K” stands for which term that’s the international standard measurement for absolute temperature? No, it's not Kevin.

    Answer: Kelvin

  48. An "exceedance" means that the levels of which pollutant are higher than the national or state quality standard?

    Answer: Air

  49. Written as m/J, which International System of Units measurement shows energy efficiency in transportation systems?

    Answer: Metre per Joule

  50. Which type of efficacy that starts with L describes how much visible light a source can produce when using a certain amount of power, and is measured in lumens per watt?

    Answer: Luminous

  51. What proposed form of energy generation can produce the same amount of energy with one kilogram of fuel as 10 million kilograms of fossil fuels? China’s prototype “Artificial Sun” sustained this for over 17 minutes.

    Answer: Nuclear fusion

  52. A hydroelectric plant generates electricity from the flow of which natural substance?

    Answer: Water

  53. What kind of energy do wind turbines convert to electrical energy? (Hint: It’s the kind of energy that is created by wind.)

    Answer: Kinetic

  54. Xyloid coal or lignite has the least amount of carbon—that's why it's also known as which color coal (since it’s not black)?

    Answer: Brown

  55. Which energy use theory states that as people “climb up” in social status they’ll use more energy (for example, poorer people may have to use biomass like wood for heat while people with more money can afford coal and gas).

    Answer: Ladder

  56. Which theory of energy efficiency states that as energy becomes more efficient and affordable, demand for it will increase—which, ironically, means more will be used?

    Answer: Jevons paradox

  57. A lumen is the unit of measure of visible light emitted by a source. What two-letter symbol is used to denote lumens?

    Answer: lm

  58. According to the EPA, the average car on the road today puts out around 4.6 tons of which greenhouse gas every year?

    Answer: Carbon Dioxide

  59. What sort of diagram, with different thickness of arrows breaking off showing different quantities, is commonly used in showing energy efficiency?

    Answer: Sankey Diagrams

  60. In the United States, the most electricity is used on heating and cooling. To the nearest 10%, how much is used on heating and cooling, on average?

    Answer: 50%

  61. The first energy efficient light bulbs brought to the market, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), were invented in 1976 by who?

    Answer: Edward E. Hammer

  62. Coal pollution mitigation is also referred to by which less fancy name that is simple and straight to the point: it’s the opposite of “dirty” coal?

    Answer: Clean

  63. In 1954, Bell Labs showcased the potential of the first silicon solar cell by making it turn a toy Ferris wheel. That display may or may not have impressed which scientist who used his earnings from inventing the telephone to get the labs up and running?

    Answer: Alexander Graham Bell

  64. Which color certificate is a tradable commodity that can be “earned” for generating renewable energy?

    Answer: Green

  65. In 2009, the proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act could have been the first bill to limit greenhouse gases. While one house of Congress passed it, which one did it never even make it to?

    Answer: Senate

  66. In 1913, Irving Langmuir discovered that placing an inert gas in a light bulb double its efficiency. What gas did he use as an example for this?

    Answer: Nitrogen

  67. After recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficient equipment, who was nicknamed "the godfather of energy efficiency?"

    Answer: Arthur Rosenfeld

  68. To keep everyone in different countries on the same page, energy efficiency in transportation is measured in meters per what precious unit of energy named for an English physicist?

    Answer: Joules

  69. "Nuclear Energy" is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore located on the campus of what school? The sculpture marks the location of the world's first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1.

    Answer: University of Chicago

  70. The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by human activity is better known by what two-word term which originated from a concept conceived by environmentalists William E. Rees and Dr. Mathis Wackernagel during the 1990s?

    Answer: Carbon footprint

  71. Households in Aklan, Antique, Palawan, and Davao were part of a home solar power program courtesy of PEEP, the Energy Efficiency Project of what Pacific Island nation?

    Answer: Philippines

  72. What is the watery-sounding name for an underground layer of liquid-bearing permeable rock that are occasionally used as a seasonal storage place for thermal energy?

    Answer: Aquifer

  73. A U.S. government database of technologies and measures that help make energy more efficient has an acronym that spells out the name of what hoofed ruminants, linked to elk and moose?

    Answer: Database For Energy Efficiency Resources

  74. The U.S. Department of Energy started touting the accelerated permitting of SolarApp+ via a tour by what energy secretary who took office in 2021?

    Answer: Jennifer Granholm

  75. If you count buildings with both emerging and verified status, which state has the most net zero schools with a total of 88 as of data from 2019?

    Answer: California

  76. What is the SI derived unit of electrical conductance? This unit is the reciprocal of resistance and is named after the founder of a German electrical and telecommunications company.

    Answer: Siemens

  77. Solar energy has been used to aid in the distillation of saline water since at least the 16th-century when Arab chemists were documented using the process. More recently, a large-scale solar distillation project was built in 1872 in a South American mining town named Las Salinas in what country?

    Answer: Chile

  78. When used in a lamp, which heavy gas (Xe or atomic number 64) can be used for everything from strobe lights to sterilization?

    Answer: Xenon

  79. Which Liberty Lake, Washington-based water and energy management company got its humble start in Idaho in 1977 when a group of engineers were trying to find a better way to read utility meters? (Hint: It was a spin-off of Avista, which provided them with funding to make handheld meters)

    Answer: Itron

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