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Controlling energy bills

Dear Editor:

During the past 100 years, we in the U.S. have enjoyed the luxury of cheap energy generated by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but no longer can we count on this being the case.



As the developing world expands, the competition for the world’s energy resources intensifies, and energy prices are increasing dramatically. Additionally, there is ample evidence that the carbon dioxide resulting from the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming as ice caps melt and changing weather patterns impact our lives. What can each of us do to keep the lid on energy expenses and reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

Some suggestions are:



1. Twenty-five percent of emissions come from transportation. Upgrading your car for a more efficient vehicle is a step in the right direction, but if you can’t afford that, improving driving habits is even better. Everyone knows that rapid acceleration and driving at high speed guzzle gas. You will be surprised at how much better mileage you’ll get if you accelerate gradually and stay at or below the speed limit. As a bonus, eliminating unnecessary trips and inflating your tires to a few pounds above the recommended pressure also will help.

2. Forty percent of emissions come from power plants that generate electricity. As the state population grows 2 to 3 percent per year and power-hungry, high-tech devices mushroom, electrical demand continues to rise. You can help buck this trend by using more efficient light bulbs and appliances, turning them off when they’re not needed and participating in the “We Care” and “Green” programs offered by Holy Cross Energy. Go to http://www.holycrossenergy.com for specifics. Holy Cross also offers a free energy assessment for your home and business to help you identify areas where you can save.

What is government doing? Colorado now is requiring the electric-power industry to employ more renewables such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass to reduce emissions. This is a step in the right direction, but these can supply only a fraction of our needs. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed an emissions standard that will ultimately phase out most coal-fired power plants, forcing conversion to natural gas or nuclear energy. All these options will translate into more expensive energy.

Clearly, we are experiencing a turning point in the cost of energy. Doing our part to conserve is the primary way to control energy bills and reduce emissions. Small changes to our lifestyle can yield meaningful results.

Dave Mott

Wolcott


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