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Introduction: Since everyone's energy costs have skyrocketed in recent months, it is important for Americans in general and the members of the Valley View Homeowners' Association in particular to take aggressive energy conservations steps now. In fact, some members' electric bills have more than doubled in the last year alone. In this environment, identifying cost-effective ways to save energy, reduce waste and improve the recycling rates in the homeowner's association just makes good business sense as well as being a significant patriotic act.
Renewable vs. Nonrenewable: As the names imply, the fundamental difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources is their ability to be managed on sustainable basis. Nonrenewable energy resources such as fossil fuels are finite, and many experts suggest that the point of no return has already been passed in terms of having already exhausted about half of the earth's fossil fuel resources. Furthermore, the rate of use of nonrenewable resources by energy-hungry countries besides the United States such as China, India and Brazil, will further accelerate the exhaustion of nonrenewable resources. By contrast, renewable energy resources such as wind, biomass, geothermal, tide and solar power are constantly "renewed" by the forces of nature and represent a viable energy alternative for many Americans today (Energy conservation, 2008).
Methods to conserve and help the environment: Adjust thermostats. The Environmental Protection Agency has published average energy use rates for Americans, which show that air conditioners and heaters account for fully half of the energy used (Energy conservation, 2008). The average family's energy use in the U.S. generates more than 11,200 pounds of air pollutants annually; as a result, every unit (or kilowatt) of electricity conserved can reduce the environmental impact of energy use (Energy conservation). Therefore, adjusting thermostats two or three degrees up or down during the summer and winter months can help save millions of barrels of oil each year and reduce homeowner's energy bills in the process (the EPA recommends programmable thermostats that will automatically adjust the temperature to 68 degrees when citizens are home and 55 degrees after going to bed). 2. Insulate, insulate, insulate. There are parts of homes that can benefit from insulation besides the attic, including the walls and floor (Energy conservation). Also, air leaks around windows and doors should be caulked to eliminate drafts (up to 40% of heating and cooling costs are attributable to such leaks). 3.
Change air filters on all heating and air conditioning units. This simple step will help these mechanical devices operate more efficiently and reduce energy use and costs.
Government efforts: The government is involved in conservation efforts at all levels today. The federal government publishes an energy efficiency audit form that can be used to identify opportunities for improving energy usage in private homes, which is available by calling (Energy conservation).
Conclusion: The Valley View Homeowners' Association is in a good position to take advantage of the energy-saving initiatives described above as well as others that are currently available and under development. In sum, the bad news was that the country needs aggressive energy conservation measures today, not tomorrow. The good news, though, was that renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power are becoming increasingly efficient and affordable and represent the likely future direction of energy resources for many Americans. The energy-saving measures described above are just a few of those available and members of the Valley…