This page describes our massive and complex plan for cutting energy use for automobile transport -- we bought a Prius. Some things just turn out to be easier than you thought they would be.
The totals to date for Transportation Projects are:
|Bought A Toyota Prius Hybrid|
|We bought a Toyota
Prius hybrid more than a year ago.
This has been our single most effective change. It accounts for more than a third of our total GHG reduction. And, It is a great car to own and drive. It has also a great investment.
|Energy Saving/yr||23900KWH||Initial Cost||$3000 *||DIY Labor||0 hrs|
|CO2 reduction||11900 lb||$'s Saved/year||$1880||DIY difficulty||0|
|Energy Source||Gasoline||1st Year Return||62%|
|10 yr saving (10% fuel inflation per year)||$29950|
The Prius replaced a very old Outback that was past due. I used $3000 as an estimate of the premium we paid for the hybrid feature (including some tax rebates). In a way, I'm not sure it was fair to charge this against the hybrid, because the other cars we were considering were just as expensive as the Prius, they just had different feature sets (e.g. 4WD instead of the Hybrid power plant).
* This is an estimate of the premium that we paid for the Prius hybrid features over a non-hybrid car. It includes the effect of the 2005 MT and federal tax rebates.
|We drive to much, and
we are trying to drive less.
So far, we have not had a lot of success, but
I do think we are headed toward doing better.
|Energy Saving/yr||0 KWH||Initial Cost||$0||DIY Labor||0 hrs|
|CO2 reduction||0 lb||$'s Saved/year||huge potential||DIY difficulty||100|
|Energy Source||Gasoline||1st Year Return||huge potential|
|10 yr saving (10% fuel inflation per year)||huge potential|
Green House Gas Emissions:
Green House Gas gas reductions were estimated like this.
In the project descriptions, "DIY difficulty" is a 1 to 10 rating of how hard the project is to do yourself: 1 being very easy, and 10 being "No chance I'm ever doing that again".
There are a lot of ways to do a good job of calculating economic return -- Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Life Cycle Costs, ... I think most of these just go right over peoples heads, so I decided on three less accurate, but very simple indicators: 1) dollars saved in fuel in the first year, 2) first year rate of return, which is just (first year $ saving/cost of project), and 3) 10 year fuel saving with 10% rise in fuel prices each year. I think these give a pretty good feel for how good the project is economically without requiring an econ degree to understand? If you have a suggestion for a better way, I'd like to hear it.
10 Year Cost Saving:
The "10 year saving" uses a fuel inflation factor of 10% per year. This may be higher that what we will actually experience, but I used it as a measure of what would happen if fuel prices continue to go up at a high rate. If you would like to use another factor, here are some others:
For 15% per year increase, multiply the first year saving by 20.30
For 10% per year increase, multiply the first year saving by 15.93
For 8% per year increase, multiply the first year saving by 14.49
For 5% per year increase, multiply the first year saving by 12.58
For 3% per year increase, multiply the first year saving by 11.46
For 0% per year increase, multiply the first year saving by 10.00