Reduce Skyrocketing Home, Vehicle Energy Bills With Alliance to Save Energy's Power$mart Booklet

Release Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Washington D.C – The average American family spent more than $4000+ on energy last year to power their home and vehicles. What if you could cut those costs by up to 30 percent or more?

Responding to consumer angst over high energy bills for natural gas, heating oil, gasoline, and electricity, the Alliance to Save Energy offers a free consumer booklet, Power$mart: The Power Is in Your Hands, filled with up-to-date facts and easy no-cost/low-cost tips as well as energy-efficiency improvements that can save homeowners and renters hundreds of dollars and reduce the nation's spiraling energy use.

And, employing some of those tips can also reduce your federal income tax. As of January 1, 2006, consumers can obtain federal income tax credits with certain home energy-efficiency improvements and purchase of hybrid vehicles. The Alliance provides details in both English and Spanish at www.ase.org/taxcredits and www.energytaxincentives.org.

Power$mart provides consumers with the power and the knowledge to make wise energy choices that meet various lifestyles, pocketbooks, and needs. Here’s a sampling:

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use about two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Replacing four 75-watt incandescent bulbs with 23-watt fluorescent bulbs saves $190 over the life of the bulbs. If all our nation’s households did the same, we’d save as much energy as is consumed by some 38 million cars in one year.
  • Households that replace existing appliances, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and electronics with ENERGY STAR-labeled products (symbol of energy efficiency) can cut energy bills by 30 percent, or more than $450 per year.
  • Installing appropriate insulation for your climate and sealing air leaks can increase your comfort, make your home quieter and cleaner, and reduce your heating and cooling costs up to 20 percent—and can generate a tax credit.
  • Consider wrapping in energy-efficiency home improvements when refinancing your home. Your interest may be tax deductible.

No cost/low-cost tips:

  • Clean or replace furnace and air conditioner filters once a month during heating/cooling season.
  • Use cold water for laundry to save up to $63 a year—today’s cold water detergents do a good job of cleaning—and wash when you have full loads.
  • Turn off your computer and electronics during long periods of non-use to cut costs and improve longevity.
  • Obey the speed limit because speeding cuts fuel economy 7-23 percent as gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
  • Keep tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage as much as 3 percent.

Fast facts:

  • If all of the nation’s households used the most efficient refrigerators, electricity savings would eliminate the need for about 20-30 power plants.
  • Each year, Americans spend more money to power home audio and DVD products when turned off than when actually in use.
  • By 2015, consumer electronics and small appliances will be responsible for almost 30 percent of all household electricity use.

Many additional tips can be found at www.powerisinyourhands.org as well as the Alliance's consumer website.