Alternative Energy Costs Money – All the headlines that are simply wrong

Conserving Energy Will Bankrupt Our Economy

Energy Efficiency Is Too Expensive For Poor People

Coal Will Always Be a Part Of Our Energy Mix

The Future Is Nuclear Power

And so it goes. I will say it only one time and then repeat it for the rest of my life, YOU WILL Always SAVE Money By Saving Energy. Right now in the worst Depression since the Great Recession people are still throwing their energy $$$ out the window. People are so used to Energy as a Commodity concepts that they talk about turning the thermostats down not Turning Their Insulation up. There is nothing wrong with drying your clothes on a clothesline. How are you going to lose money planting a garden?

No greater authority than Parade Magazine posts these articles from Sunday:


Finding Joy in Frugality

by Alix Kates Shulman

published: 05/10/2009

Related Features

1. Savings Strategies

2. How To Save Smarter

3. My Haunted House


The author at home with her frugal finds, including flowers that she dried herself.

For decades, frugality has been despised as stinginess. But with the recent collapse of consumer culture, it is now in style again. Its return confirms that, given time, everything sensible eventually comes back into fashion—an article of faith to the thrifty, including me.

I was not always frugal. In high school I was as careless a spender as any other suburban American girl. The clothes and music I bought with my after-school earnings didn’t  begin to satisfy my longings, which I regularly laid on my parents as a fatal need for another sweater.

Then, suddenly, when I moved to New York for graduate school, I did a complete turnaround. Initially, I was motivated by the desire to spend a year abroad, which in those pre-credit-card days required saving money. But mainly, I think, living on my own for the first time, I felt free to revise my values to suit a serious-minded grad student.

I adopted a set of simple if stringent rules that still make sense today: If you don’t need it, don’t buy it; never buy a new one if your old one works; never buy an expensive one when a lower-priced one will do. I abandoned bookstores for libraries, restaurants for my kitchen, boutiques for bargains—and soon found myself enjoying a gleeful sense of liberation. By limiting my consumption and saving for what I really wanted, I felt empowered. Here was a way to beat the system and achieve control.

But frugality is one thing in a student, another in a woman of the world. As the years passed, I hung onto it, but I also knew better than to broadcast it. It became a secret strength, a guilty pleasure.

My delight in frugality took a giant step when, at age 50, I went one summer to a house on an island off the coast of Maine. It offered propane and rainwater instead of electricity and plumbing, and the island store was an hour’s walk away. Far from lamenting the lack of amenities, I felt stimulated and challenged. With nothing to buy and no one to impress, I set out to discover what mattered most. What I learned is how little one needs to be content and how much of life’s bounty is free if you open your eyes and use your imagination.




This as well:


How To Save Smarter

by Tim Harford

published: 05/10/2009

Not very long ago, Americans were terrible savers. In 2007, the average person put aside 60 cents of every $100, or .6% per paycheck. However, the current economic downturn has shocked us into depositing more at the bank. As of February, the personal savings rate was more than 4%. That’s a big improvement, but it’s still half of 1980s levels, when Americans routinely socked away 10% of their paychecks. Why is saving so hard? And how can we be smarter savers?

Behavioral economists—researchers who mix psychology and economics—have uncovered three reasons why people find it so difficult to save. The first is temptation: Although we often later regret it, we just can’t resist spending. The second is lack of understanding: Our brains can’t quite grasp the profitability of saving. The third is optimism: We believe that everything will work out, even if we don’t save.

Fortunately, researchers have found solutions to these problems. Temptation can be countered if you make saving as much fun as spending. This isn’t such a stretch. Neuroeconomist Ben Seymour of University College, London, sits in front of a brain scanner and watches what happens in our heads when we think about financial decisions. He found that imagining a future purchase is almost as good as getting it. For example, when we daydream about buying a new car, our brains respond in much the same way as when we actually make the purchase.

We can harness this buzz to our benefit by discarding vague ideas of “saving for a rainy day” and focusing instead on particular items we need or want. “Saving is much easier when it’s for something specific,” Seymour says. Reinforce this connection in your mind by opening a different savings account devoted to each of your goals: one for a new car, one for a vacation, one for a child’s college tuition fees.


So is a Killowatt saved a Killowatt earned? Damn Straight:

March 19, 2009 – Vol.13 No.52

by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News

Author, activist, statesman, inventor Benjamin Franklin famously said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Kilowatts weren’t yet conceived in his day but the experimenter in electricity certainly would have quipped, “Kilowatts saved are pennies earned.”

Somehow I think the man who believed in frugality would have been a vocal proponent of energy efficiency.

Today, saving energy and using it more efficiently is not just virtuous, it’s good business. In an economy struggling to get traction, spending less on energy can mean the difference between business failure and staying in it. A penny spent on energy savings can shift a negative number on the balance sheet into the positive column.

For an individual a switch to a more fuel efficient car or truck will make an immediate and noticeable difference in cash outflows. But adding more efficient lighting or beefing up insulation in a home will be barely noticeable on the monthly utility bill. (Rest assured; the savings will be there and evident in the long run.)

However, for a business, energy efficiency measures of all kinds will stand out when the bill comes due. When dozens, hundreds or thousands of light fixtures are changed to more efficient ones the effect on the bottom line will be immediate. Further, calculating the dollars and cents difference between the efficiency investment and long term energy savings can give a business a long term bill of health.


Or This:


Frugality 101: Why Pay More for Energy Than You Have To?

For Further Information
Rozanne Weissman 202/530-2217

For Immediate Release

(Editor’s note: The news release has hypertext links as well as complete web links to meet various media, web, and blog needs.)

Washington, DC, April 2009 – Although gasoline prices are heading upward once again, they are nowhere near last summer’s average high of $4.11 a gallon, meaning that you could drive more for less. But is that smart? As a matter of fact, one of the bright spots in this turbulent economy is that it will actually cost significantly less to power your home and vehicles this year than last year.

With “frugality” being the hot buzzword in this tough economy, why pay more for energy than you have to? The Alliance to Save Energy offers extensive money-saving resources and tips to reduce your energy bills so you and your family have more money for other things:

  • Unemployed, home more, and watching your home energy bills soar? When a home is in use 24/7, more energy is used for heating or cooling, lighting, home office equipment, electronics, water, and other needs. The Alliance to Save Energy’s consumer website ( offers an entire section on Tips to Lower Your Energy Bills.
  • $1,500 home energy efficiency tax credit. There’s no better time than this year or next year to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Certain home energy efficiency improvements are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $1,500 through the end of 2010 as part of the February “stimulus” package. The Alliance provides all pertinent details on home and vehicle tax credits ( The tax credit increases the federal income tax refund you would get or lessens the money you would otherwise owe. In addition, these improvements would simultaneously reduce your monthly energy bills, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.


For much more:


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