There may be cash in your clunker

If you have been hesitating or vacillating over a new automobile purchase,
the recent Cash For Clunkers Program may be your incentive.Although the auto
indusrty is mired in problems, the program deserves a second look.

The new “Cash For Clunkers” legislation provides a tax-free discount of
either $3,500 or $4,500 on the purchase price depending on the difference in
miles per gallon (“mpg”) savings and the type of vehicle traded in and
There are also some qualifcations required.

Here’s an overview:

Passenger Vehicles:
Passenger vehicles maunufactured in 1984 or later with a rating of 18 mpgs or
less, that are traded in for new passenger vehicles with a higher rating of
22 mpgs or more are entitled to a $3,500 discount. If the difference in mpgs
is 10 mpgs or greater, the discount increases to $4,500.

SUV/Light Trucks/Vans:
SUV/light trucks/vans (beginning with 1984 model years) with a rating of 16
mpgs or less, that are traded in for new SUV/light truck with a rating of 18
mpgs or more are entitled to a $3,500 discount. If the difference in mpgs is
5 mpgs or more, the discount increases to $4,500.

Large Light Duty Trucks:
Large light duty trucks (beginning with 1984 model years) with a rating of 14
mpgs or less, that are traded in for new large light duty truck with a rating
of 15 mpgs or more are entitled to a $3,500 discount. If the difference in
mpgs is 2 mpgs or more, the discount increases to $4,500.

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Study Tips for the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP Specialty Exam

LEED v3, which is still fairly new to most people, consists of two exams
– The Green Associate Exam, and the LEED AP Specialty Exam. The new
exams, especially the specialty exams, are said to be significantly
harder than the previous version of the exam, so it’s very important
that if you are looking to pass a LEED exam in the near future, that you
begin a smart study regiment, so you don’t have to fork over another
couple hundred dollars for a re-take if you were to fail.

The best thing to do is not to worry about the passing rate, or failing –
but to get a hold of the reference guide for the exam you’re taking, as
well as a supplemental study guide to make your life a whole lot
easier. It can be costly to get these preparation materials, but it can
cost you even more to retake the exam over and over again.

There are many LEED study guides out there, so it can be difficult to
choose which ones are the best for you. Also, please note that the USGBC
will be coming out with their own study guides for each of the exams
very soon (predicted to be sometime in October), so look out for those
too. Since they are guides directly from the USGBC, they are sure to be
as helpful, if not more helpful, than existing study guides on the

Another helpful tip is to make use of practice exams for the LEED Green
Associate Exam or Specialty exams as much as possible. They will help
you get familiar with how the questions and test is formatted, which
proves to be very helpful in improving exam scores for everyone.

After you apply for the LEED exam and register for the date of your
exam, setup a schedule to learn a few of the prerequisites and credits
each day, only moving on to the next after you have mastered and
memorized all parts of the credits, including the intention, benefits
and environmental impact, implementation, referenced standards, related
credits exemplary performance, and calculations, if applicable. Use the
definition list in the back of the reference guide to understand any
terms that you do not understand as you’re going through the credits.

If you are studying for the Green Associate exam specifically, then you
will not be required to learn the details within the credits. You will,
however, need to understand all of the various LEED green building
strategies that span over all of the LEED rating systems. They are
involved in the following topics: sustainable sites, water management,
energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental air
quality, and innovation in design. Also, make sure you catch the
regionalization requirements and exactly how the LEED application
process works.

Lastly, it’s important just to always keep your head up. It will be a
tough process to learn everything you need to know for the LEED exam,
but you will be rewarded for your hard work.
wishes you the best of luck on your exam.

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