FUEL FOR THOUGHT: QUICK FIXES
National Fuel presents energy saving quick fixes.
Tuesday, 03.10.2009 / 10:33 AM / Blue & Gold Make Green
Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency
On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed into law the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008." This bill extended tax credits for energy efficient home improvements (windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters).
The bill also extended tax credits for solar energy systems and fuel cells to 2016. New tax credits were established for small wind energy systems and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Tax credits for builders of new energy efficient homes and tax deductions for owners and designers of energy efficient commercial buildings were also extended.
Energy TIps for Home & Life brought to you by National Fuel:
- Instead of driving, take a walk.
- Wait until your dishwasher is completely full before you run it.
- Get your oil changed with the proper oil. A better running car uses less gas.
- Check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflation takes more gas. Check your manual for the correct tire pressure.
- Compost when you can. Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 24 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream.
- Car pool. One trip a year saves money. Talk to people at work, see if you're going the same way. Go to eRideShare and enter your zip to find people to carpool with.
- Ride your bike. Gotta run to the store? Ride instead. Remember, any amount you don't drive saves.
- Get fuel when it's cool. If you refuel at midday in August, small amounts of the gas are more likely to escape. It all adds up.
- Telecommute. If you can, work from home once a month. You'll save time and money.
- Turn off your computer at night. Or at least turn off the screensaver.
- Slow down when you drive. When you drive 60 mph your gas mileage drops rapidly.
- Replacing each regular bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb saves more.
- Wash clothes in cold or warm water and save.
- Plant trees to shade your home. Start now, in a few years you'll have shade.
- Recycle your water bottles. The vast majority of the 25 billion single-serve plastic bottles used each year end up in landfills.
- Paper or plastic? Even better is a reusable cloth bag.
- Don't top off the tank. It releases gas fumes into the air, which cancels the benefits of the pump's anti-pollution devices.
- Your battery charger is warm because it's using power even when it isn't charging. Unplug it.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances, electronics and other products. ENERGY STAR® products save.
- Eliminate idling. Warm up your vehicle by driving.
- Most appliances in your home use electricity even when they are turned off! Save by unplugging appliances or simply turning off the power strip.
- Reuse. Your junk might be someone's treasure. Try giving it away instead of tossing it out.
- Get more detailed tips for your home and additional links from Energy Savers, a Department of Energy site.
- The American Gas Association is a valuable resource for understanding the benefits and availability of clean, safe, reliable natural gas.
- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers energy-saving tips and information on selecting a contractor for your energy efficient upgrades.