Touring the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab yesterday, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham encouraged Americans to use energy efficient technologies and practices in their homes and businesses in the wake of rising natural gas prices this year.Golden, Colorado – July 2, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Demand for natural gas is expected to rise by as much as 50 percent over the next 25 years. Currently, the nation’s inventory of natural gas lags behind past inventories of the popular fuel and rising demand illustrates the need for consumers to become mindful of energy use. Abraham said the advances made by the department’s renewable and energy efficient technology research are readily available to the public to employ in their homes and businesses. “By incorporating advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that reduce energy use into building designs, the U.S. building sector is achieving significant results,” Abraham said. “Individuals can also play an important role in reducing energy usage. Conserving energy in the home saves consumers money today while also helping ensure abundant energy supplies in the future.” Abraham unveiled the Department’s new energy saver Web site which can be reached from the link below. From tips on insulating a home, to heating and cooling, and to buying new windows, the website serves as a consumer resource to start cutting home energy prices. Abraham said the challenge this year is to ensure adequate natural gas supplies at prices consumers can afford. “America’s natural gas shortage effects everyone; from senior citizens, living on fixed incomes, to small business owners trying to keep the lights on,” Abraham said. “While we work to increase our production and storage capacities for natural gas, we must also focus on using our natural gas resources wisely and to our own best benefit.” Both the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Electric Industries Association have recently released information citing increased use and support for their technologies would address this natural gas shortfall.