Friday, November 09, 2007

Ethanol Gas? Save your money.

I did a little test in my car. I checked my mpg using Super Unleaded containing 10% ethanol and Regular Unleaded respectively; as I expected the ethanol reduced the miles per gallon.
Where I live, fueling with the ethanol blend will save you money per fill-up but not in the long run once you figure your mileage.
Try it yourself. As always, your mileage may very.
Of course if the price is close you can do the math. You will get approximately 3% worse mileage with the 10% ethanol blend.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Take you time paying off your student loan

Don't pay any more than you need to each month on your student loan. This may seem obvious but it might not be.
Often times the loan's interest rate is lower than you could earn else where in interest. I consolidated my loans to a much lower fixed interest rate. I also set up auto payment and made my payments every month which lowered the interest rate even more. My rate is now only 1.875%.
The bottom line is try to earn interest on any extra money you have. If you can earn 5% in a money market account or a CD and your loan is 2% then your net gain is 3% instead of a net loss of 2%. Putting your money in mutual fund is even better but the returns aren't guaranteed so be careful.

Storm Water Power Generation

Here's a novel idea to generate some more electricity.
Why not build reservoirs to hold water from storm drains and use it for hydro power. Sure this only works when it rains so rainy climates would benefit more. Flat areas would also not work as well because you need greater elevation drops to generate more electricity. Turbines could also be attached where a city's storm water dumps into a large ditch or river.
I have no idea whether this is feasible both from a cost perspective and an engineering one. Would the returns be worth it? Can hydro power turbines take the punishment of periodic operation while being dry the rest of the time? I don't know either of the answers. Perhaps you the reader can help. Please comment.