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We’ve all heard the catchwords like “carbon footprint” and “going green.” They’re all over the news and the politicians in state capitals and Washington DC are arguing about whether the science is actually on target.

But what does it mean for your life? Why should you and I, your average Joe (or Josephine), care about energy consumption?  Well, here are three very good reasons.

1. It costs you money

This is probably one of the main reasons you should care about energy consumption. There’s no point in pretending we are all entirely altruistic here. For example, I live in a city that doesn’t charge to dispense plastic bags at the grocery store, but I regularly commute to a city that does.

Ten cents for every bag. I’m more inclined to bring my reusable bags when I know I’m going to be penalized for not having them.

But think about it: If you leave all the lights burning in your house and put the AC down to 65, your electric bill is going to skyrocket. Live by candlelight and deal with the heat? Less money on the energy bill. If you use less, you’re charged for less. That’s just simple math, my friends.

2. It costs everyone else money, too

Okay, so we’re going from micro to macro here. High energy consumption has an impact on all of us because we have to pay more on our individual bills, right? But higher consumption costs us all, in the long run.

It costs companies more money to produce and ship product, which costs us more at checkout and at the pump. We all will pay higher health-care prices because we’re living on a planet that’s polluted and making us sick.

And we are essentially held hostage by our dependence on fossil fuels. Alternate sources of energy like wind power or solar power are nicer to the environment and can keep costs down for us all in the long run.

3. It can put money in your pocket

So, you’re sensing a theme, here, right? Money is important. If you put money up front to bring down your home’s energy consumption by installing ductless heating systems or replacing your windows, you can actually add value to your home when it comes time to sell.

In the meantime, you’ll be saving on those bills I talked about. It really is win-win, and the planet benefits too.

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