With gas prices already approaching $3 a gallon nationwide well in advance of the summer driving season - and Earth Day around the corner - the Alliance to Save Energy urges drivers to cut their own energy costs while helping to curb climate change by driving more fuel-efficiently.
Washington D.C, April 20, 2007 - With gas prices already approaching $3 a gallon nationwide well in advance of the summer driving season - and Earth Day around the corner - the Alliance to Save Energy urges drivers to cut their own energy costs while helping to curb climate change by driving more fuel-efficiently.
The Alliance also encourages consumers to test their "Energy IQ" and take the 6° of Energy Efficiency Challenge at www.sixdegreechallenge.org to learn how their energy use and energy waste affects their communities, the nation, and the planet - and how being more energy-efficient contributes to our nation's economic and energy security.
The Alliance offers these tips to improve gas mileage and reduce costly trips to the pump:
• Maintain your vehicle. Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent
• Keep your tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage by around 3.3 percent and also improve safety and tire life. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi (pounds per square inch) drop in pressure of all four tires.
• Use the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil to improve gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
• Idle minds and idling vehicles -- be mindful when behind the wheel. Avoid idling, which gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically waste even more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
• Obey the speed limit. It's safer and less expensive. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60 mph. As a rule of thumb, each 5 mph over 60 mph is like paying an additional 20 cents per gallon for gas.
• Curtail "road rage"/aggressive driving. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking can lower gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is safer, too - so you may save more than gas money.
• Are you carrying around too much excess "baggage?" 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 by up to 2 percent.
• Use cruise control to help cut fuel consumption by maintaining a steady speed during highway driving.
• Combine errands into one trip to drive fewer miles, use less fuel, and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip when the engine is warmed-up and efficient.
• Investigate other options for getting to work and other places -- carpooling, ridesharing, public transportation, biking, walking.
• Telecommute or stagger work hours if your employer permits to avoid sitting in traffic and wasting gas, especially 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, driving a care that gets 20 mpg rather than 30 mpg will cost you nearly $650 more. That's approaching $2,500 extra in fuel costs in just four years!
• Buying, leasing, or renting a vehicle? Select a model that gets better fuel economy. Check out www.fueleconomy.gov, for information on fuel-efficient vehicles.
• Take advantage of 2007 federal income tax credits that reduce what you owe to Uncle Sam or increase your tax refund by $250 to $3,400 for purchases of hybrid-electric or diesel vehicles. Amounts are based on the vehicle's efficiency and fuel savings. Details in English and Spanish on the Alliance's website --www.ase.org/taxcredits.
The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.