Thursday's announcement that Travelers, one of America's oldest insurance companies, will discount rates for drivers of hybrid cars is only the latest news of savings available to environmentally conscious consumers.

Drivers of hybrid cars, already enjoying reduced fuel costs, are eligible for a 10% discount on auto insurance from Travelers. This policy complements federal tax credits to encourage the use of cleaner technologies that could lessen America's dependence on fossil fuels if adopted en masse.

According to Consumer Reports, the government's incentives target homeowners as well as drivers. The government is offering a 10% tax credit for using energy-saving materials such as insulating roof shingles and energy-efficient windows.

Homeowners can also earn up to $300 in tax credits for installing geothermal heat pumps and energy-efficient air conditioners, and up to $150 for energy-saving hot water heaters that use propane or natural gas.

Consumer Reports found that the tax credits on hybrid autos can save drivers up to $3,400, or up to $4,000 for cars that run entirely on alternative fuels.

Travelers' insurance discount stems from actuarial pragmatism more than environmental stewardship. The company found that hybrid-car owners are typically lower-risk drivers.

With the popularity of fuel-efficient cars increasing, Travelers stands to tap into a growing market.

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