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360Chestnut's blog aims to help our readers find the most cost effective home improvement solutions and trends that will help you save money and live better. 360Chestnut hopes to inspire you in taking the next step in making your home more energy efficient, more sustainable and healthier without having to break the bank. Save Energy. Save Money. Live Better with 360Chestnut.

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The Electric Vehicle: Energy Efficiency and The Road Ahead

  
  
  
  
  
Energy efficient car

Yes, I know this post isn't about an energy efficient house, but since most houses also have cars parked in their driveways, it's time to acknowledge the existence of the electric vehicle (EV).  Cars like the Tesla Roadster and the Nissan Leaf constantly remind us of the possibility of driving a car without ever having to go to a gas station, other than to buy a cup of coffee.  Even high end manufacturers are considering electrifying their offerings to some degree.  With gas prices through the roof and visits to the car shop getting more expensive by the day, it seems like a no-brainer to purchase an EV.  If this is the case, why aren’t people flooding dealerships to buy EVs? 

Energy Efficiency Rebates for My New Fridge and Air Conditioner

  
  
  
  
  

I was a couple of days late getting to my local Sears store to investigate the energy efficient refrigerators and air conditioners that are part of the current MassSave home energy efficiency rebate program, which began on July 28th.  Still, when I checked the website, there was plenty of money left in the rebate fund, so I decided to make my move.  I knew, sort of, what I was looking for--after all, I was replacing a 20+ year old refrigerator and who even knows how ancient the air condtioner was.  I wasn't looking for fancy--no ice maker needed, and I'm not the stainless steel type, so I was on the hunt for a medium-sized white fridge (I will continue to stick magnets on the door.)  The change I wanted to make was to have the freezer on the bottom, since I've liked the ones I've used at my friends' houses.  Thanks to a great sales associate (Mark Gaman, I'm talking about you) I quickly made the decision, and then we moved over to the air conditioners.  It was there that I fell in love with a low-profile window AC unit--I'd never seen one of those before--and the price was right (and the AC put out the right number of BTUs for my bedroom.  Not too big, not too small--just right.)  So--out came the Sears credit card and my purchases were made.  Mark knew all about the rebate program, and he went online for me and filled in the appropriate paperwork, printed it out, we set the delivery date for the fridge (the AC came home with me the next day, after I returned my old one to the store for recycling, a condition of the MassSave program.)  Today, I copied my receipts and sent everything off.  I am expecting to get $200 back on my fridge ($150 from the program, and $50 with a coupon Mark gave me, to come from my utility) and another $50 on the AC unit.  Of course, it's great to get the cash, but I'm also excited to see how much I save on my electric bills (especially now that I've also replaced most of my lights with CFL bulbs.)  For you Massachusetts residents, as of today, August 3rd, rebates are still available.  What are you waiting for?

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