Commentary, Energy

Save gas with small changes

05.15.07 | 15 Comments

Share this article: Stumble It!  Del.icio.us  Slashdot  Technorati  Digg!  Subscribe

As you may have heard, today, May 15th is the national gas boycott day. It’s a great attention ploy and maybe even an interesting symbol of protest. But in the end, all it will do is defer sales until later in the week.

What’s required to really move prices? A change in behavior. If each driver in the US would do the following things over the next year, it could reduce fuel demand by as much as 10%.

Easiest suggestions to increase your fuel efficiency by 10%:

  • Drive the speed limit, the faster you go, the more fuel you burn (and your ticket risk goes down) this yields around 5% fuel efficiency
  • Remove unnecessary items from your car, each 100 lbs of weight removed can add up to 2% fuel efficiency (another good reason to go on a diet? Every pound counts…)
  • Don’t idle your car unnecesarily, for any delay longer than a stop light, switch the ignition off
  • Whenever you make a trip, combine multiple segments into one eliminating the need for mulitple trips
  • Take it easy, hot rod starts and fast braking can decrease fuel efficiency by as much as 33%.

Easy suggestions to increase your fuel efficiency by 10%

  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated, wheels balanced, and aligned this will yield around 3% fuel efficiency
  • Ensure your car has a clean air filter which could yield up to 5% fuel efficiency
  • Keep your car “tuned up” which will yield up to 4% fuel efficiency
  • Use the right grade of motor oil, this will yield up to 2% fuel efficiency

More suggestions to increase your fuel efficiency by 10%

  • If you must commute, carpool or take public transport
  • Buy a more fuel efficient car, a 10mpg difference could save as much as $3,000 per year in fuel
  • Avoid “rush hour” travel
  • Telecommute to work

Obviously, these suggestions range in cost and effort from essentially zero (change your driving behavior and remove excess weight) to very expensive (buy a more fuel efficient car.) We publish all of them so you can select the actions you want to take to actually change the fuel comsumption over time rather than simply boycotting gas purchase for a day. Not everyone can do everything on this list, but everyone can do some combination of these items to total a 10% reduction. Let’s focus our effort on these pragmatic actions and we’ll see an impact on the price of gas, save yourself money, and oh by the way, we’ll reduce our greenhouse emissions as a bonus.

Did you like this article? If so, you might enjoy the 500 other articles on this site too. The easiest way to participate is to sign up using an RSS news reader. In case you’re interested, we have created a simple step by step guide to show you how to add content from this site or any other that has an RSS feed.