Energy-Efficiency Upgrades? Include the Car
Once, I convinced my parents' landlady to replace the ancient fridge in the apartment with a new, EnergyStar-rated fridge. We contributed half the purchase price and within a single year, we got our contribution back in electricity savings. (That old fridge was a real dinosaur).
You could do worse than to include a home energy audit as one of your new year resolutions. Whether you do it yourself or call in an expert, you will probably come out saving energy costs.
When you do the audit, remember to include the driveway / garage and its denizen(s). There are lots of ways to save energy (and ultimately money) by driving conservatively and treating your car right.
If you are ready to buy a new car this year, think very carefully of what you really need. Most cars on US roads have a lot more power than you need; if you can forego the supersized engine you can save thousands of dollars: It's cheaper to purchase the same car model with a smaller engine, and that engine requires less gas to operate for the lifetime of the car.
Happy new year! May you reach the energy-saving goals you've set for yourself this year.
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