Vail Daily letter: Controlling energy use |

Vail Daily letter: Controlling energy use

Dave Mott
Vail, CO, Colorado

During the past 100 years, we in the United States have enjoyed the luxury of cheap energy generated by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but no longer can we count on this being the case.

As the developing world expands, the competition for the world’s energy resources intensifies, energy prices are increasing dramatically.

Additionally, there is ample evidence that the carbon dioxide resulting from the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming as ice caps melt and changing weather patterns impact our lives.

What can each of us do to keep the lid on energy expenses and reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

Some suggestions:

1. Twenty-five percent of emissions come from transportation. Upgrading your car for a more efficient vehicle is a step in the right direction, but if you can’t afford that, improving driving habits is even better. Everyone knows that rapid acceleration and driving at high speed guzzles gas.

You will be surprised at how much better mileage you’ll get if you accelerate gradually and stay at or below the speed limit.

As a bonus, eliminating unnecessary trips and inflating your tires to a few pounds above the recommended pressure will also help.

2. Forty percent of emissions come from power plants that generate electricity. As the state population grows 2 percent to 3 percent per year and power hungry high tech devices mushroom, electrical demand continues to rise.

You can help buck this trend by using more efficient light bulbs and appliances, turning them off when not needed, and participating in the “We Care” and “Green” programs offered by Holy Cross Energy.

Go to for specifics. Holy Cross also offers a free energy assessment for your home and business to help you identify areas where you can save.

What is government doing? Colorado is now requiring the electric power industry to employ more renewables such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass to reduce emissions. This is a step in the right direction, but these can only supply a fraction of our needs.

Recently, the EPA has just proposed an emissions standard that will ultimately phase out most coal-fired power plants, forcing conversion to natural gas or nuclear energy. All these options will translate into more expensive energy.

Clearly, we are experiencing a turning point in the cost of energy. Doing our part to conserve is the primary way to control energy bills and reduce emissions.

Small changes to our life style can yield meaningful results.

Dave Mott


Candidate for Holy Cross Energy Board

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