Sam's Clan Three Easy Ways to Reduce our Dependence on Foreign Energy
3. Discover cities that offer domestic natural gas buses
Compressed natural gas use in large city bus systems is increasingly becoming the norm. More than 50 transit agencies across the U.S. are using it to power buses. From 1996 to 2009, the use of natural gas in public transit buses has grown from less than 3 percent to more than 18 percent, while the use of diesel has dropped from 95 percent to about 69 percent. The Los Angeles Metro became the first major transit agency in the world with a compressed natural gas only fleet when it held a "retirement ceremony" for the last diesel bus in its 2,228-vehicle system in 2011. Other major cities using CNG buses include New York, Washington, Boston, and Salt Lake City.
2. Buy clean burning U.S. Natural Gas to heat your home
Home heating oil is used to power nearly 8 million homes, mostly in the Northeast. Converting to natural gas has its advantages for those with access to it. In addition to heating, it can be used to cook, run a clothes dryer, fuel a fireplace and heat water. Natural gas burns cleaner than heating oil. That minimizes wear and tear on the boiler and lowers maintenance costs. It also makes natural gas more environmentally friendly. Natural gas prices are also at all-time lows, thanks to abundant supply pressures, making it one of the cheapest energy resources in the world.
1. Take advantage of credits to buy electric/gas hybrid cars
The minimum amount of the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles is $2,500 and the credit tops out at $7,500, depending on the battery capacity. To qualify, vehicles must be newly purchased, have four or more wheels, have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 14,000 lbs, and draw propulsion using a battery with at least four kilowatt hours that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. The government also provides a tax credit for plug-in electric drive conversion kits. The credit is equal to 10% of the cost of converting a vehicle to a qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle and placed in service after Feb. 17, 2009. The maximum credit is $4,000.