Easy Ways to Save Energy -- and Money

Helping the environment may give you more cash in the long run.

On the Road

saving money

Linda Farwell

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Americans spend more than $160 billion a year on energy. This energy -- used to heat, cool, light, and otherwise keep our homes running smoothly -- represents about 21 percent of the nation's total energy use. But our impact could be smaller. Take the time to implement even a few of the following energy-efficient improvements, and the results could cut your total energy consumption by up to 30 percent.

On the Road

  • Drive safely -- and not just when baby's on board. Any aggressive driving (think speeding, rapid acceleration or hard braking) wastes gasoline, lowering your highway gas mileage by 33 percent and city mileage by 5 percent.
  • Keep up with car maintenance. A clean air filter -- important because it keeps dirt and other foreign particles from entering the engine -- can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. Properly inflated and aligned tires will improve gas mileage by 3 percent.

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