Energy Efficiency at Home and On the Road
(St. Charles, MO) – It’s getting hotter in the Show Me State as summer weather finally rolls in and gas prices are going up in several parts of the state at the same time.
That’s got Missourians cringing at the pump and waiting until the last minute to turn on the air conditioner.
Of course, we all want to keep that energy bill down each month. What may surprise you is that one of Missouri’s largest energy companies says it wants your bill to stay low as well. Ameren Missouri’s Cara Dolly explains why.
“We know that the energy not used is the cheapest form of energy that’s out there. So, we want customers to use less of our product and then in the future we all benefit from that because we won’t have to build more power plants. We may not have to do as much fuel loading. We may not have to do a lot of the maintenance that we’ve done in the past which will, eventually, keep all the costs down to our customers.”
The company currently has a three year, $147 million initiative to promote energy efficiency in homes and businesses. Some of that cost is recovered through state incentives.
Dolly says the expectation of the effort is to save 800 million kilowatt hours of energy. That’s about what is used to power a medium-sized Missouri suburb for a year, according to Ameren.
The initiative is designed to use new technologies to save energy use and, as a result, save money on your heating and cooling bill each month. One example is the promotion of CFL light bulbs. Dolly points out that using the new bulbs won’t impact the amount of light in your room but it will use less energy to deliver it.
Ameren is partnering with retailers in various parts of the state to lower the cost of energy savers, including those light bulbs.
Saving energy isn’t limited to flipping the light switch or adjusting the thermostat at home. You can also protect your wallet by getting the most out of every gallon of gasoline you pump into your vehicle.
AAA Missouri’s Mike Right says that kind of saving starts before you pack up the car for vacation.
“If you’re riding around in underinflated tires, it’s basically robbing you of fuel economy, as much as three percent.”
Saving even more money requires some research. Right says gas prices vary significantly around the state. That’s why it’s important to look up the prices along your route beforehand. Websites like GasBuddy.com can help you find areas where the same gallon of fuel is just a little bit cheaper. Several apps for mobile phones are available as well that provide that information.
While you’re focused on saving fuel and money, don’t forget to save lives during the trip.
Right says about one third of crashes today are caused by “distracted driving” involving phone calls or texting. That’s a safety factor that is completely controllable if Missouri drivers simply put the phone down during the trip and leave it down until your next stop.
On the web:
Ameren’s Energy Efficiency Initiative: www.ActOnEnergy.com