Electricity rates are going up nationwide, sometimes in double-digit jumps, in part because the price of coal has doubled in a year, USA Today reports.
When gasoline prices hit record high levels, people started trading in their gas guzzlers for fuel-efficient models. General Motors closed down plants that make big trucks and SUVs. Attention to the likes of the Chevy Volt, which GM promises will run 40 miles on the charge from a standard electric outlet, is growing by the day.
In other words, the alternatives that environmentalists had long advocated for on grounds that they pollute less are suddenly attractive because they cost less.
Could the same thing happen with electricity?
The alternatives are harder to come by, at least in the short term. There's just no easy way to flip a switch and start drawing power produced by blowing wind instead of burning coal. Strategies for weaning the nation off of fossil fuels, or taxing carbon output so much that alternatives become viable, are abundant, but Congress hasn't yet made any demands that would inspire dramatic changes.
There's one way to save money on energy bills now, regardless of fuel type, and it's one that Congress could easily invest in as well: conservation.
To get started, here are 7 Simple Home Money Savers.
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