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The Litchfield Energy Task Force  normally meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm.

Let’s save more!

There is no shortage of enthusiasm for opportunities to save money. Some rabid shoppers will forget all about the civility that their parents taught them when jockeying on the sales floor in the midst of a “blow out sale”. Others will drive miles out of their way to save a few cents per gallon on gasoline or make do with the old to delay the purchase of the new.

There is a whole industry built around helping Americans minimize their individual contributions to the tax rolls. Granted we can debate on how and where those tax dollars should be spent; however, most of us will agree that the funds raised through those taxes support our society, infrastructure, and security. That being said, many people will go to great efforts to strategize and manage their affairs to reduce their tax burden.

Smart choices, frugality, efficiency- these are things that make perfect sense to most of us. Despite this, for some mysterious reason, many Americans have not taken advantage of an enormous long term opportunity to save money. In fact, some will scoff while others will glaze over when they hear mention of … energy conservation or improved energy efficiency. I hope that YOU will keep reading.

Beyond the personal economic incentive, reducing energy usage as individuals helps all of us collectively by reducing air, water, and land pollution, which ultimately translates to improved health, environment, and esthetics of the world all around us. Smarter energy usage limits the need for imported energy sources and thus reduces our national trade deficit. Smarter energy usage increases the disposable income for citizens giving them the opportunity to spend more regionally and boost local economies. Smarter energy usage reduces the production of climate changing gases and helps to mitigate this developing crisis for future generations.

It is a great deal easier and significantly less expensive to generate negawatts (megawatts of power that we don’t use due to conservation and efficiency improvements) than it is to dig new coal mines or oil wells and build new power plants and transmission stations. Despite this, the decade old quote from a former U.S. Vice President seems to echo in the recesses of some of our minds, "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." This clearly could not be further from the truth. When individuals, families, businesses, and communities make smarter energy choices they are indeed enhancing support of their country and its long term way of life. Indeed, they are patriots. We have squandered time, opportunities, and resources dithering about energy for many years. Now is the time to smarten up regarding energy consumption. Do it for you, do it for all of us.

Please consider having an energy audit done for your home. The Litchfield High School Greener Impact Club is promoting home energy solutions through Competitive Resources Inc. For specific information regarding some of the smart energy changes you can implement please visit the Litchfield Energy Task Force page at http://www.litchfieldctenergytaskforce.org/index.htm

Dean Birdsall, Litchfield Energy Task Force