Save energy to save money, planet

Centerpiece graphic that illustrates six key areas where you should weatherize your home for the coming winter months. Chicago Tribune 2009<p> 04000000; 06000000; 10000000; ENV; FIN; krtbusiness business; krtenvironment environment; krtfeatures features; krtlifestyle lifestyle; krtnational national; krtworld world; leisure; LIF; krt; mctgraphic; 04019000; krtfinance finance; krtintlbusiness; krtnamer north america; krtusbusiness; u.s. us united states; 10009000; FEA; krthome home house housing; LEI; 06002002; 06003000; conservation; ecosystem; energy saving; environmental issue; 17000000; krtcold cold; krtweather weather; krtwinter winter; WEA; appliance; appliances; attic; bedroom; heating; home; insulation; kitchen; light; lighting; refrigerator; replace; replacement; space; water; weatherize; window; tb contributed; 2009; krt2009  

As the season changes and the months grow colder, energy efficient thoughts may come to some people’s minds. Insulation and other measures can reduce costs in the long term, but sometimes these measures are very expensive to implement.

With steps taken by the government to make them more affordable, hopefully more people will be able to take advantage of these cost savers. Also, remember not all energy saving methods are expensive, some are inexpensive or even free, which happens to be a lot of people’s favorite price.

Insulation, window sealing and other energy saving measures not only help reduce the cost for the person that employs these measures, it also helps reduce the output needed by your heating and cooling systems. Meaning the companies use less resources of their own, and those savings can affect the consumer as well.

And then of course there’s the whole conserving energy helps prevent global warming thing, but we’re so used to that idea by now it isn’t necessary to mention it in any great detail. Whether you believe in global warming or not, there is little doubt humans can have an impact on the environment, and these energy savers will help with that as well.

Newer homes are being built with these ideas in mind, and that means when people go to buy these houses, some day in the future when people start buying houses and having jobs again, they’ll save money because they won’t have to install them themselves.

Energy saving may seem like a distant concept for those of us who live in a building paid for and provided by taxpayer money and whatever scraps of cash are left are used to cover what financial aid doesn’t. But we won’t be in these buildings forever, and most students live off campus, where these measures make more sense. Although maybe if we turn the lights off more often they won’t raise tuition so much every year.

Now nothing I’ve just said, err, typed, should be new information. A lot of people know if they lower or raise the temperature on their heater or air conditioner, depending on the season, they’ll save money, and people also know fluorescent light bulbs last longer but cost more. But it is important to know these are just the few of a large list of things that can be done to save energy and money. When you do what you can, even if it’s lowering the thermostat one degree, the savings and benefits add up whether everyone does it or just a few people, though more people doing it is of course ideal, because that means more energy conservation and more savings overall, which is definitely a good thing.

And in case you’re wondering when I’m going back to politics, hopefully soon, especially with our state election for Governor only a year away. Hurray for no more Granholm!

To learn more about the full array of energy saving methods, the Department of Energy at has the list.

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