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Saving Energy and Money at Home and on the Road


This is <name> with <affiliation>. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2009 the average
American family spent approximately $1,900 on home utility bills. Not only is this amount a burden for
the family budget, but it is also costly to the environment. Each year, the electricity produced by fossil
fuels for a single home results in more carbon dioxide released into the air than that produced by two
average cars. In addition to home energy use, transportation accounts for 67 percent of all U.S. oil
consumption. However, you can save energy and money at home and on the road by following these
tips:
       Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified products. ENERGY STAR is a program sponsored by the U.S.
        Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. When you see the
        ENERGY STAR logo on a product you know that it is an energy-efficient product.
       Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats take the guesswork out of
        temperature control by allowing you to pre-set the thermostat to lower or higher temperatures
        (depending on the season) during periods when no one is home or you are sleeping.
       Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR–qualified compact fluorescent
        light bulbs (CFLs).
       Turn off or unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.
       As a general rule, when turning on the tap use cold water whenever possible. Hot water
        requires energy.
       Drive sensibly to improve your gas mileage. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard breaking can
        lower your highway gas mileage by 33 percent and your city mileage by 5 percent.
       Avoid needless vehicle idling. If you plan to be parked for longer than 10 seconds, turn your
        engine off.


Adapted from HENV: 702 Saving Energy and Money at Home and on the Road. Contact Ashley Osborne,
Extension Associate for Environmental and Natural Resource Issues, November 2010.