Focuses on New Energy-Efficiency Tax Credits For Purchasers of Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
Washington, D.C., August 30, 2005 - The Alliance to Save Energy and the Department of Energy (DOE) are spreading the word about federal tax credits for purchasers of hybrid-electric vehicles in 2006 and 2007. Through their partnership on the Powerful Savings campaign, consumers can learn more about these tax credits, as well as how to reduce their energy bills and help the nation reduce its overall energy use through energy efficiency.
Buying or Renting a Car
· The new Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides a federal tax credit after January 1, 2006 of $250 to $3,400 based on the efficiency and fuel savings of the vehicle for purchasers of hybrid-electric or diesel vehicles. Tax credits are dollars deducted from taxes owed. While the criteria are not yet set, Toyota, for example, estimates that the tax credit for purchasing a Prius will be $2,500 to $3,000. Check out local excise tax reductions and other benefits for hybrid purchasers, too. The credit is capped at 60,000 vehicles per manufacturer and begins to phase out, so it pays to put your order in sooner rather than later.
· For 2005, a $2,000 federal tax deduction is already available for purchasers of hybrid-electric cars.
· When buying a new vehicle, think high gas mileage. Check out the DOE website, www.fueleconomy.gov, for information on fuel-efficient vehicles.
· When renting a car, ask for a model that gets better fuel economy.
The DOE/Alliance to Save Energy Powerful $avings campaign also offers these vehicle maintenance and driving tips to help consumers get better mileage and reduce gasoline expenses. (Monetary savings calculated by DOE based on gas at $2.20 a gallon):
Basic Maintenance Pays Off
· Keep your car properly tuned up to improve gas mileage by about 4 percent and save about 9 cents per gallon; replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, to save up to 88 cents a gallon.
· Keep air filters clean to improve mileage by as much as 10 percent and save up to 22 cents a gallon. Replacing clogged or dirty air filters also keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine.
· Keep tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage by as much as 3 percent and save up to 7 cents per gallon. This also extends tire life and ensures tire safety.
· Use the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil to improve your gas mileage by another 1-2 percent, saving 2 to 4 cents per gallon. Look for "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to ensure friction-reducing additives.
On the Road...
· Curtail aggressive driving. Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking cut mileage up to 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent in town, wasting from 11 to 73 cents per gallon. Nix jack-rabbit starts in favor of slow acceleration from a dead stop.
· Obey the speed limit. Speeding cuts fuel economy 7 to 23 percent, as gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph. Each five mph you drive over 60 is like paying an extra 15 cents per gallon.
· If available, use your vehicle's overdrive gear when appropriate to reduce engine speed, save gas, and decrease engine wear.
· Use cruise control to help cut fuel consumption by maintaining a steady speed during highway driving.
· Pack lightly when traveling, and avoid carrying items on your vehicle's roof. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk cuts a typical car's fuel economy 1-2 percent.
· Avoid idling, which gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically waste even more gas at idling than cars with smaller engines.
· Carpool and use public transportation whenever possible. Check the American Public Transportation Association's website for local public transit information (www.apta.com/links/state_local/).
· Combine your errands into one trip and plan your routes carefully to drive fewer miles and use less fuel. Also, several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
Other Gasoline-, Money-Saving Options
· If your employer permits, consider telecommuting or staggering your work hours to avoid sitting in traffic and wasting gas during peak rush hours.
· If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, you can save $550 a year by driving a car that gets 30 mpg rather than 20 mpg. That's $2,200 extra in fuel costs in just four years!
· Protect your health and your pocketbook by walking to your destination whenever possible.