7 of 9
BACKNEXT
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
Awesome car options for first-time buyers There are lots of good options for millennials shopping for their first car. These models might not be the most popular, but they're worth considering. More
6 surprising things for sale on Taobao Consumers can buy just about anything and get it shipped to their door from Alibaba's Taobao, China's most popular online shopping platform. More
Most notorious recalls ever It's not just automakers that issue massive recalls. From lawn darts to Pokemon balls, plenty of other consumer products have been deemed dangerous, or worse, deadly. More

Special Offer