Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

7 of 9
Dan Catlin
Dan Catlin
Dan Catlin, 61, and his wife, Carol, have focused on reducing energy costs.
Location: Mesa, Ariz.
Profession: Air-quality specialist
Tip: Invest in lowering your energy dependency.

I am optimistic because: "Right now I feel comfortable in my job and my family is making it work on one salary. I have pensions that will help if my job disappears, so I'm not worried about that.

I think the new administration is going to be successful. President Obama has been pushing for renewable energy, and that's great from both a financial and environmental standpoint. As a nation, we've got to become energy independent.

I've worked in the renewable energy sector for a long time, and I've added energy efficiency to our existing home for the past few years. We installed a solar water heater and photovoltaic solar panels to our small four-bedroom home.

The house is all electric, and our last bill was $46 - $12 of that was the meter-reading charge. One month last fall, I generated 100 kilowatts more than I used. Our goal is to be rid of utility bills. The tax credits provided in our area also make solar energy a very good investment.

We plan to install more solar panels in the coming months. Our goal is to be able to generate as much energy as we use during our hot Arizona summers. We've used the federal and state tax credits as well as utility rebates to help pay for this project. It's part of our preparation for retirement security when we expect energy prices to increase.

I'm not rich by any means, but if your expenses are super low, that income goes a lot further. If I save $200 a month on electricity, that's money I can spend elsewhere. It's important to economize. Don't waste your money on football games, big TVs, or anything else you don't really need."

NEXT: Robert Crumpler
Last updated June 15 2009: 10:22 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Black Friday 2015 in pictures Shoppers around the country braved the crowds to get their hands on the best Black Friday deals. More
Driving the ultimate in '50s Mercedes-Benz style The SC was the car that re-introduced Mercedes-Benz as a global luxury car icon. More
Driving the world's first car Driving a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first internal combustion automobile. More

Special Offer