Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saving Energy -- Saving Money

Fuel prices are high because it is a supply and demand business. They are also high because our government has been very short sighted since the major fuel crisis we suffered in 1973. Congress had thirty-three years to enact legislation that would have kept us out of this terrible energy quagmire we are steadily sinking into ( Please remember that at election time.) and perhaps we should clean house literally. Well, we know we cannot depend on congress any longer. Congress has left us to the "mercy" of the foreign oil suppliers. So it's time that we go back and take another look at conservation on our own.
Conservation starts with simple inexpensive things like turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use. All those little transformers you have plugged into your walls constantly draw power whether in use or not. Computers and monitors can be either turned off or placed in sleep mode.
Another cheap fix is when it comes to your cars and trucks. Cars are the sacred cow in the USA " O boy, now he's going to screw with my car syndrome!" Did you ever stop to think of how many unnecessary trips that some people take with their motor vehicles? When I see the figures on how many gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel we use in a week I cannot help but wonder why we have not totally used it all up already! There are some simple things you can do to save fuel (money) without spending a fortune. Keep your tires inflated properly. I keep mine at the highest range allowed by the manufacturer because higher pressure reduces the friction on the highway, thus saving fuel. Do not over inflate though because over inflation will wear out the center of the tire treads prematurely. Make sure your engine is tuned up and running properly. Try to slow down. Besides saving fuel, it is much safer. I think the number one fuel saver is planning the number of trips a day that you make with your car. Even better, if you can share a ride to work and back you are really saving a lot of fuel and money, never mind the wear and tear on your car. Remember, it takes a lot of energy to build a car. If you drive a diesel you can convert it to vegetables oil very cheaply and drive virtually free thanks to your local neighborhood fast food guys that are paying to have their used cooking oil hauled away. Also, remember that Detroit doesn't make a lot of money building econo cars, and you better get rid of that giant SUV gas hog before it's too late!
A solar hot water heater (30 million now used in China) will save at least $300.00 a year for the average family. Solar Hot water systems are now available for well under $1000.00 on a DIY basis. Turn that oil burner off for the summer!
Never heat water with electricity. It is far too expensive and will go higher soon, as will fuel oil, natural gas, LPG and of course gasoline and diesel fuel. Turn down your thermostat a few degrees and save even more in the heating season. Reverse the process in the cooling season.
For a more expensive fix you can make sure that you are insulated properly and that you have energy saving windows installed. Put film on them to block out the summer heat from the sun. Get a free energy audit performed on your home from your State Energy Office.
Use your head, think of other ways to save energy. Who knows, you might even invent the next leading edge energy saving product. We have to take it more seriously this time around, or we are going to feel very foolish within the next three years.
If you are a multimillionaire who could care less about the energy crisis and has money to burn, then you could disregard all of the above. But if you are not, remember -- When the consumption goes down -- The fuel prices go down, and you save even more money! Money, money, money, money, money!
Please pass this along to your friends. This informational reminder should be shared.

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