You may ask how this nation got into the energy crunch. Authoritative answers will include politics, profit motive, waste, poor national planning, and energy depletion. All of these explanations are somewhat correct, but to be right about any of these issues will not solve the energy crisis or even help to solve it.
The real key to saving energy is to conserve and to use the available energy in a more practical way. If every American homeowner and apartment dweller kept the thermostat set at 68 degrees for heat in the winter and at 78 degrees for air conditioning in the summer, the nation could conserve about 550,000 barrels of oil daily. If these same citizens would replace their present light bulbs with lower wattage bulbs, the nation would save about 1000,000 barrels of oil daily.
Trying to divide and multiply the population of the United States in relation to the barrels of oil used per day is rather confusing. Moreover, this computation leads to the questions of how one individual family, for instance yours, can conserve energy when conservation seems to boil down to a savings of only nickels and dimes.
A few energy-saving steps that one could take include the following: If you have a 1/2 crack under your attic door, the heat loss can cost about $9.00 annually. To put weather stripping across this crack under the door will cost about $3. The first year you will only save about $6, but in the next 10 years (or for the life of the weather stripping) you will save $90 to $115. If you add 6 inches of ceiling insulation to your attic, the cost for an average house will be about $115. But annual monetary savings will be $146. It will take just one year's savings on heating costs to pay for the insulation, and you will make a small profit. Multiply this investment over the 20-, 30-, or 40-- year perios that you may own the house, and you have big monetary savings. What about energy savings? You will save about 63,757,469 BTU's (heat measurement) of heat this year and each successive year. If you caulk and weather strip the windows and doors i your home, the cost for an average house will run about $20. The monetary savings on heat will be about $38 the first year; for the next 10 years, you will save $38 each year or about $380. You also save energy (BTUs).
So conserving enery saves money as well as the energy supply.