Energy costs are rising and will continue to do so. Short-term interruptions in supply - due to natural disasters, as well as wars and other political factors - cause prices to temporarily spike. Of more concern is the rapid depletion of accessible fossil fuels, which will be responsible for steadily rising costs over time.
The average amount of energy consumed by a person in the United States is higher than that for a citizen of any other country. This does not have to be the case. Other countries have maintained a high standard of living while using far less energy per person. There are many obvious ways to save energy: turning off lights, driving less, buying efficient appliances, weatherproofing buildings, to name but a few. (The links below provide many more ideas.)
Another important step is to encourage governments at all levels to support public transportation, renewable energy research and use, green building, and waste reduction at home and in schools.
Finally, keep in mind that manufacturing anything - homes, appliances, clothing, food - requires huge amounts of energy, so applying the principle of "reduce, reuse, recycle" is one of the best ways to control our country's energy use.
- www.njcleanenergy.com/residential.html - Get tips on saving energy in your home. Offers a free energy audit that can be completed online or by mail.
- www.energystar.gov/- A government-backed program to help businesses and individuals achieve high energy efficiency through online resources, ENERGY STAR labeling of products, and regional inspection services. This site is packed with information on ways for homeowners, businesses and towns to reduce their energy costs. Among the many options:
- www.eere.energy.gov - From the U.S. Department of Energy, "a gateway to hundreds of Web sites and thousands of online documents on energy efficiency and renewable energy."
- www.thegreenguide.com/doc.mhtml?i=110&s=fuel - Carries a huge selection of energy-saving products, including compact fluorescent bulbs in many styles and strengths.