‘It will get better’ for Liverpool, claims McAllister

first_img Liverpool players celebrate victory over Carlisle Liverpool first-team coach Gary McAllister believes performance will improve and results will come following Wednesday night’s League Cup win over Carlisle United.However, the nature of their laboured win at Anfield, needing a penalty shoot-out to beat the League Two side, has done little to ease the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers.Rodgers named a strong side for the clash, but was dealt a blow in the first-half with an injury to summer signing Roberto Firmino.Danny Ings put the hosts ahead with his second goal in two games, but Carlisle fired back to level before the break, with Liverpool winning 3-2 from the spot after in remained 1-1 after 120 minutes.Adam Bogdan, a free signing this summer, was the hero with three penalty saves to see the Reds into the fourth round of the cup, but Rodgers remains under scrutiny.The club were forced to dismiss reports they had approached veteran Italian and two-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti as a potencial replacement for the struggling manager, but former Kop hero McAllister believes Wednesday’s victory will pull the side together.“When it comes to a penalty shoot-out, there is that coming together of players in the middle of the pitch and we’ve stepped forward and got through,” the Scot said after Liverpool booked a fourth-round date at home to Bournemouth.“We’ve shown that bit of character and we’re delighted for Adam Bogdan, making the saves to get us through.“Maybe this is one of those little things that can just pull us together as we look forward to the weekend [home game against Aston Villa on Saturday].“We want to perform better and that is what we are striving to do, to get that rhythm back we’ve seen in the past.“It will get better. The feeling is that we are working hard at training, we will persevere and we will try to win games and perform well.” 1last_img read more

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‘Awful and horrible’ – Angry LVG slams media over Man United resignation reports

first_img1 Louis van Gaal has angrily refuted claims he offered to quit as Manchester United boss last weekend.The Dutchman has found himself under increasing scrutiny, with United struggling for form and fans critical of his perceived negative playing style. Van Gaal was booed by supporters following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton at Old Trafford and there were widespread reports this week that he had to be talked out of quitting by vice-chairman Ed Woodward.But the 64-year-old insists that is not true and he has hit out at the English media for the continued speculation over his future.Asked if he had offered to quit, Van Gaal said at a press conference on Thursday: “I don’t think that I have ever mentioned it.“I think you make your own stories and then I have to answer about your stories, and I am not doing that because it is awful and horrible that you can write that and then I have to answer the questions of your story.“I am very concerned people are believing what you are writing. I receive a lot of calls and SMSs, but it is this world that you can write what you want and you don’t have to verify anything.“It is now the third time already that I have been sacked, and I am still sitting here for you.”Van Gaal is pleased to have the backing of Woodward but admits that does bring added pressure.He said: “It is fantastic, of course. That gives you a lot of pressure because when the board has such confidence in you then the pressure is much higher than when they say it is your last game, or something like that, because then the confidence is not so high, and you can fight against it.“When you can fight you have bigger motivation than when they support you. I am always fighting.”Saturday’s loss to Southampton meant the Red Devils have won just twice in ten Premier League games.Their slow style of play under Van Gaal has been criticised all season and they have not scored in the first half of their last 11 home games.The Dutchman is certain to face intense scrutiny as his side face a tricky trip to Sky Bet Championship high-flyers Derby on Friday and he expects people to report his job is on the line once again.The former Holland, Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss said: “When you lose it is more worse and I predicted already, before the game against Southampton, that I cannot lose any more because I am then condemned for the fourth time that I have been sacked. Maybe then you have written the truth, because sometimes it happens.”Asked if he was facing a must-win game at the iPro Stadium, Van Gaal said: “You have to win, because then you are out of the FA Cup.” Louis van Gaal last_img read more

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‘Rafa Benitez would be the best appointment by Newcastle since Sir Bobby Robson’

first_img Rafa Benitez 1 Rafa Benitez would be the best and classiest manager Newcastle United have had since Sir Bobby Robson if he takes charge at St James’ Park.That’s the view of former Magpies hero Micky Quinn, amid widespread reports Benitez is on the verge of replacing Steve McClaren.The Spaniard has managed some of Europe’s elite clubs and has won an array of major honours during his long and varied career, including the Champions League and La Liga.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Quinn said: “If it does happen, he is probably the best and classiest manager we have had since Sir Bobby Robson.“When you weigh up the managers since Sir Bobby Robson, he has got to be way up there.“Look at his CV – he’s a Champions League winner. And he will have no strings attached to him. He will have his own staff and he will want to do it his own way.”But, while Quinn would welcome Benitez’s appointment, he believes the club have handled the managerial situation appallingly.McClaren has been left in charge while the club try to bring in a new man, and Quinn says it is wrong to keep the ex-England boss in limbo.He added: “Whether you like Steve McClaren or not, they have dragged it out and let Steve take the training knowing they are going to sack him.“It is an absolute shambles and if there is any integrity or decency left at Newcastle while Mike Ashley is there, they should have let him go on Saturday night [after the 3-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth] and killed it there.”last_img read more

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ICE arrests record number of undocumented immigrants in LA

first_imgAuthorities recorded a record number of arrests of undocumented immigrants and fugitives this year in the Los Angeles area, federal officials said today. Some 2,667 immigration violators have been taken into custody between Jan. 1, 2007 and Sept. 31, 2007 – a 63 percent increase over last fiscal year, according to the latest statistics available. Of those arrested, 576 had criminal histories in addition to being in the country illegally. Among the criminal aliens taken into custody recently by the Fugitive Operations Teams was a Maywood man convicted of beating another man to death here more than a decade ago. Luis Medina Gonzalez, 34, was arrested Oct. 24 at his home and deported to Mexico the following day. Medina was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in August 1996 on charges stemming from a fist-fight that left another man dead. He was ordered deported based upon his criminal conviction, but failed to comply with the immigration court’s order. Medina also has a prior conviction for narcotics charges. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. “As a country, we welcome law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes against our citizens should be on notice that ICE is going to use all of the tools at its disposal to find you and send you home,” said Jim Hayes, Los Angeles field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention and removal operations. ICE established its Fugitive Operations Program in 2003 to eliminate the nation’s backlog of immigration fugitives and ensure that deportation orders handed down by immigration judges are enforced. Today, ICE has 75 Fugitive Operations Teams deployed across the country. In fiscal year 2007, those teams accounted for more than 30,000 arrests nationwide. This year, for the first time, the nation’s fugitive alien population showed a decline, officials said. Estimates now place the number of immigration fugitives in the United States at slightly under 597,000, a decrease of more than 35,000 since October 2006. ——————————————– For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.last_img read more

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Benteke and Walcott to West Ham? Lallana to swap Liverpool for Spurs? GOSSIP

first_imgHere are the top transfer-related stories in Tuesday’s newspapers and online…Theo Walcott is on the verge of agreeing a summer move to West Ham. Walcott is ready to leave Arsenal at the end of the season in search of regular first-team football. Chelsea have also shown an interest in the 27-year-old, but Walcott has been attracted to the challenge of helping West Ham mark their move to the Olympic Stadium by mounting a serious top-four challenge in the Premier League next season. (The Sun)West Ham are poised to make a £25million move for Liverpool striker Christian Benteke this week. And the Hammers are also set for a bidding war with London rivals Tottenham after tabling a £24m offer for Marseille striker and Benteke’s fellow Belgium international Michy Batshuayi. (Daily Mirror)Mauricio Pochettino wants a stunning reunion with Adam Lallana in a £20million summer deal. The Tottenham boss will ask chairman Daniel Levy to make the Liverpool midfielder his No1 target when the window opens. (The Sun)John Terry is set to become one of the highest paid players in the world by moving to China on a £12million-a-year deal. The centre-back, 35, is out of contract at Stamford Bridge this summer and it looks unlikely that his deal will be renewed by new boss Antonio Conte. And Terry is close to agreeing a bumper payday with a move to the Chinese Super League. (The Sun)Nemanja Matic would prefer to stay in the Premier League should he leave Chelsea this summer and is waiting to see if Manchester United begin negotiations with Jose Mourinho in the next month.  Should United push for the Portuguese then Matic would be interested in following him to Old Trafford. (Daily Mail)Antoine Griezmann has told friends he is prepared to snub lucrative offers from the Premier League to stay at Atlético Madrid this summer. The 25-year-old France international is now one of the hottest strikers in European football and has been closely monitored by Chelsea, who attempted to sign him in the past, Manchester United and Manchester City. (Daily Telegraph)Aston Villa are trailing £4million Bosnian midfielder Tino-Sven Susic – who Nigel Pearson once tried to sign for Leicester City. Villa scouts were in the crowd on Sunday night as Susic’s Croatian club side Hajduk Split were beaten 2-0 by Inter Zapresa. (Daily Mail)Thierry Henry is set to be offered a new coaching role as Arsenal look to shake-up their academy. The Gunners legend could be promoted to work with the club’s under-18s after coaching various age groups as part of taking his UEFA badges. (Daily Mirror)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Neil Lennon reveals ‘definite interest’ in sealing return as Celtic manager‘Jack Wilshere’s future is at Arsenal, but Theo Walcott MUST leave for sake of his career’ – Ray WilkinsShock Arsenal transfer report: ‘Gunners in talks with Leicester over N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez’Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal plotting big-money deal for Real Madrid starWest Ham facing battle to keep Dimitri Payet as Real Madrid plot sensational moveAlexandre Lacazette leaves door open for summer switch as Tottenham and West Ham plot summer movesWest Ham keen on £10m-rated Juventus playmaker Roberto PereyraFormer Newcastle forward Hatem Ben Arfa closing in on shock move to BarcelonaWatford FC transfer report: Hornets consider move for Lukaku…Jordan LukakuManchester City to continue Ilkay Gundogan pursuit despite Borussia Dortmund midfielder’s long-term injurylast_img read more

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Everton to offer Saints boss Koeman £6m-per-year to be their new manager

first_img1 Everton are willing to make Southampton manager Ronald Koeman one of the highest-paid bosses in the Premier League to join them this summer, according to reports.Koeman has been among the list of managers linked with the Goodison Park hotseat following the departure of Roberto Martinez one game from the end of the season.The likes of David Moyes, Manuel Pellegrini and former Ajax boss Frank de Boer are also thought to be in the running, but with the Merseysiders keen to bring in a man with proven premier League success, Koeman is at the top of their list.And recent reports claim Everton, boosted by the millions of new investor Farhad Moshiri, are set to offer the Dutchman a £6million-a-year contract to become their next full-time boss.Koeman’s current Southampton contract runs until 2017 and he is yet to commit to a new deal.But, despite other reported interest from Arsenal, they remain confident he will reject any offers to re-sign at St Mary’s – despite offering a significantly lower £2.5m-per-year contract.Everton are willing to raise the Saints by more the double to convince Koeman to sign, with a contract offer which would put him only behind Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.Koeman has worked wonders during his time with the Saints, having guided the club to their highest ever Premier League finish this season – sixth place – despite losing a number of key players over the past few transfer windows. Ronald Koeman is wanted by a number of top clubs after his good work with Southampton last_img read more

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Massive spending bill faces Bush veto

first_imgWASHINGTON – The White House on Saturday threatened to veto a massive spending bill being assembled by congressional Democrats, saying it’s unacceptable to add billions of dollars to domestic programs. The White House has not seen details of the $500 billion-plus measure – which senior Democrats are constructing behind closed doors – but reacted to it based on media accounts. The bill contains $11 billion above President Bush’s February budget, awarding the money to domestic programs such as education and health research. It also may contain several billion dollars in “emergency” funding for border security, foreign aid, drought relief and a food program for women and children. The budget increases come on top of $5 billion awarded last month for disaster relief and Louisiana’s “Road Home” housing program for victims of Hurricane Katrina. “Congressional Democrats understand the need to fund critical priorities at home while we also correct the disastrous course the White House has set at home and abroad,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Saturday in a joint statement. “This war already costs taxpayers $12 billion a month…. The last thing this administration should do is preach about responsible management.” Democrats are signaling they are willing to give Bush a portion of the war funding on terms the White House can accept. Republicans say $70 billion would be a sufficient “bridge fund” for the Pentagon. The House is slated to take up the massive bill on Tuesday, a day after it is to be publicly released. The House bill would not contain Iraq funding, though it would likely provide about $30 billion for Afghanistan and some domestic military needs. The Senate would add $40 billion or so for Iraq.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“This so-called compromise would result in more excess spending than even the Democrats’ original budget included,” said White House Budget chief Jim Nussle. “This is not fiscally responsible.” The White House statement came after The Washington Post reported Saturday that the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, supports the idea of allowing domestic spending increases if Democrats support $70 billion or so in war funding. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said the account was off the mark and McConnell issued a statement saying the “`deal’ described in today’s press reports remains unacceptable to congressional Republicans.” There is a divide between House conservatives seeking to repair the GOP’s bruised reputation on fiscal discipline and Senate veterans such as McConnell, who is eager to see an omnibus spending bill pass before the end of the year. House leaders have been pressing Bush to reject any bill that would bring so-called discretionary spending – the one-third of the federal budget passed each year by Congress – above $933 billion. The Democratic measure would roll together 11 spending bills funding every Cabinet agency except the Defense Department, whose $459 billion budget bill passed last month. The $11 billion increase pushed by Democrats would split the difference between the increases contained in Democrats’ original spending bills and the level sought by Bush. The difference between Bush and Democrats amounts to only about 2 percentage points and is dwarfed by Bush’s $196 billion request for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Bush has adopted a hard line, and his veto pen gives him great leverage, especially as Congress races to complete its work and adjourn for the year. last_img
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Clemens, Bonds, Tejada named in steroid report

first_imgNEW YORK – Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada and Andy Pettitte were named in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on Thursday, an All-Star roster linked to steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that put a question mark – if not an asterisk – next to some of baseball’s biggest moments. Barry Bonds, already under indictment on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroids, also showed up in baseball’s most infamous lineup since the Black Sox scandal. The report culminated a 20-month investigation by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, hired by commissioner Bud Selig to examine the Steroids Era. It was uncertain whether the report would result in any penalties or suspensions. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champSeveral stars named in the report could pay the price in Cooperstown, much the way Mark McGwire was kept out of the Hall of Fame this year merely because of steroids suspicion. “Former commissioner Fay Vincent told me that the problem of performance-enhancing substances may be the most serious challenge that baseball has faced since the 1919 Black Sox scandal,” Mitchell said in the 409-page report. “The illegal use of anabolic steroids and similar substances, in Vincent’s view, is `cheating of the worst sort.’ He believes that it is imperative for Major League Baseball to `capture the moral high ground’ on the issue and, by words and deeds, make it clear that baseball will not tolerate the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.” Eric Gagne and Paul Lo Duca were among other current players named in the report, both linked to Human Growth Hormone. “We identify some of the players who were caught up in this drive to gain a competitive advantage,” the report said. “Other investigations will no doubt turn up more names and fill in more details, but that is unlikely to significantly alter the description of baseball’s `steroids era’ as set forth in this report.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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Year of health reform falters

first_imgDespite a last-gasp effort in the Assembly this week, the Legislature is about to finish the “year of health-care reform” without passing a health-care plan. While that outcome had become expected, what surprised many observers was the person responsible for blocking action before the new year: Don Perata, the Senate leader and a liberal Democrat from Oakland who co-authored the bill. Perata announced he would not allow the state Senate to vote on the Assembly-approved bill – not until he knows more about how the $14 billion-plus measure would affect existing health programs and the state’s overall finances. But hearing Perata question a measure that bears his own name has left Capitol observers wondering what exactly he is up to. Is he seeking leverage on some other issue? Exacting revenge on his Assembly counterpart and occasional rival, Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles? Or simply taking more time to vet a proposal with far-reaching and potentially unintended consequences? AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe best answer might be all of the above. Still, by pushing Senate consideration of the bill into next year, some proponents privately fret that Perata might stall its momentum and kill the measure’s already slim chances of being enacted. At one point this week, the blunt-spoken Perata said in a TV interview that the health plan was “DOA” – a remark his office quickly said he didn’t mean literally. But at the same time Perata is raising some of the same arguments that Republicans have used to cast doubt on the proposal – and providing ammunition to opponents rallying to defeat it. “It’s ironic because he’s long been a supporter of health-care reform,” Barbara O’Connor, director of Sacramento State’s Institute for the Study of Politics and Media, said of Perata. “Here is the opportunity to get it done, and he’s putting the brakes on.” O’Connor added that she understands Perata’s desire not to rush something through, but “the longer you wait, the harder it gets,” she said. “I think it has a much better chance of succeeding if everyone gets on the bandwagon and starts campaigning for it.” The bill, ABX1, would extend insurance to more than two-thirds of the state’s uninsured with new requirements on businesses and a hefty tax increase on cigarettes. Most individuals would be required to carry insurance, and insurance companies would be barred from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Because the proposal involves raising taxes, a ballot initiative containing financing for the reforms would have to be approved by voters, probably in November. Supporters say they would need to collect more than 1 million signatures in a matter of months in order to meet election deadlines; the longer the Senate postpones the vote, the more money it will cost to ensure enough signatures can be gathered in time. But a bigger risk of waiting might be that by the time the Senate debates it, presumably sometime next month, the political climate will be much more treacherous. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to call the Legislature into a special session to grapple with a projected $14 billion deficit, and Perata is stoking doubts about whether the sprawling health-care proposal would widen that gap. Perata, for his part, insists he is committed to passing health-care reform; he just wants to do it right. The only hearing on the bill passed by the Assembly this week was held the morning of the vote. Perata believes it needs a fuller vetting to avoid a mistake like energy deregulation in the mid-1990s, which received little legislative scrutiny and came back to haunt the state years later. “We cannot make decisions in the dark,” Perata said in a letter to his supporters last week. But it also seemed clear that Perata wants assurances that the governor won’t move to slash health programs for the poor in upcoming budget talks. The senator is also trying to muster support for a water conservation and infrastructure plan. Holding up the health-care proposal, which the governor wants badly, gives him a huge bargaining chip. At the same time, Perata’s arms-length relationship with both Schwarzenegger and Nu ez – who rarely miss an opportunity to publicly lavish praise on each other – makes it easier for Perata to play the contrarian on health care. “When major legislation passes with great fanfare, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, play to the cameras and quickly go along,” Perata added in his letter, a line that was widely seen as a swipe at the governor and Nu ez. Perata also faces a practical problem of lining up enough Democratic votes to pass the bill. It faces resistance from at least one liberal senator who prefers a single-payer health-care system, and possibly a block of moderate pro-business Democrats who are concerned about employer mandates and raising taxes. One of those moderates, Sen. Ronald Calderon, D-Montebello, said he was wary of the proposed $1.50 or $2 per pack cigarette tax, among other things. “The funding mechanisms are unreliable,” he said. “You’re looking at a declining source of revenue with the cigarette tax.” In the end, even Republicans expect Perata will scare up the votes to pass the bill sometime in January. But they have enjoyed hearing the senator talk their talk. “I love it,” said Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines, R-Fresno. “I’d love to see it happen throughout the year.” mzapler@mercurynews.com (916) 441-4603160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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SmartMoney: Incentives to go “Green”

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s getting easier and cheaper to be green. Thanks to new tax credits that kicked in this year and increasingly competitive prices on energy-efficient appliances, it’s easier than ever to boost your home’s energy efficiency without going broke. Under the Energy Policy Act, in 2006 and 2007 consumers can receive federal tax credits for making energy-efficiency upgrades to their homes. “Energy efficiency is a good deal unto itself, but these tax credits are offering some special opportunities to get a financial boost,” says Bill Prindle, deputy director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates energy efficiency. The credits don’t apply to just any energy-efficient upgrade, however. And there are requirements and limits that must be met. What’s Covered You can get a one-time tax credit of up to $500 for projects that involve the home’s shell insulation, windows, sealing or its home heating and cooling equipment. Eligible projects include new windows (10% of the cost, up to a credit of $200), central air conditioners (up to $300 of the full purchase price), hot-water boilers (up to $150 of the full purchase price) and pigmented metal roofs (10% of the cost, up to $500). You also can get a one-time tax credit for the cost of installing an alternative energy system. For installing a photovoltaic system (which produces electricity) or a solar water heating system, you’ll receive a credit for 30% the cost of the system, with a maximum of $2,000. All of these projects must meet specific criteria. And they must be put in place during 2006 or 2007. Get Some Money Back Most appliances including dishwashers, dryers and refrigerators aren’t eligible for the federal tax credits. But you still may be able to save, given that many states, cities, utility companies and even appliance makers offer rebates and coupons for energy-efficient products. In Montana, for instance, the Bonneville Power Administration offers $6 coupons that can be redeemed for energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. The WARMAdvantage program of New Jersey Natural Gas offers customers rebates for buying highefficiency equipment: $300 for a furnace or boiler, and $50 for a water heater. Other states have programs for free online energy audits and for weatherization for homes of low-income residents. You can view rebates and other programs at the Web sites of Energy Star (www.energystar.gov), a government-backed program dedicated to improving energy efficiency; the ACEEE (www.aceee.org); and Consumer Reports’ Greener Choices (www.greenerchoices.org), a consumers’ guide that focuses on environmentally friendly products. Price Drop Making it even more enticing to buy energy-efficient products is the fact that they are no longer a much more costly alternative to their energy-loving counterparts. Significant strides have been made over the past 10 years, says Carolyn Forte, home-care director for the Good Housekeeping Institute. The cost of many energy-efficient products is comparable to those that aren’t energy efficient. Often, the pricier models simply have fancy bells and whistles. When shopping for an energyefficient model, look for the Energy Star label, which tells you the appliance meets set energy-efficiency standards, says the ACEEE’s Mr. Prindle. The tag is currently found on more than 40 products, from refrigerators and washers to TV sets and computers. Even if you’re not in the market for a new appliance, there’s plenty you can do to increase energy efficiency without spending much money, says Urvashi Rangan, a senior scientist and policy analyst at Greener Choices. To boost your existing heating system, she advises replacing any analog thermostats with programmable ones. That way, you can program the system to power down during the times when you’re at work or sleeping. Other options: Caulk windows. And buy an inexpensive jacket to insulate an old hot-water heater to prevent energy from escaping.last_img read more

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