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Monday, February 26, 2007

Al Gore: KWh Bandit

An enterprising Tennessee organization called the Tennessee Center for Policy Research did a little bit of digging into Al Gore's personal energy consumption. According to the utility bills, Gore's McMansion uses 20 times the energy of the average American house.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.
Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

And, do you know where most of that energy is coming from? Coal. Heh.

9 comments:

Shawn said...

Al Gore...like most psudo-environmentalist, only deal with the surface because that's what gets them noticed. It's about celebrity and nothing more.

...Okay, I'm gonna say something that'll probably get me flammed, but oh well...

There is only one way to reduce pollution: Reduce Human Population and life expectancy.

There is no amount of conservation that can overcome the exponential population growth rate. We will have 1 bllion more people on Earth in 50 years, and all of them will live longer than ever. That means more people needed energy and using it longer. That's a billion more cars & a billion more homes.

Short of a technological revolution to supply unlimited clean fuel, there is no conservation or reduction that can make up the difference.

Anonymous said...

Not to sound like a Democrat here (because I'm not) but this post of yours illustrates that you are more interested in mindless bashing than actually analyzing what's going on. Perhaps the following facts escaped you.

1. The guy is a former VP of the United States and has security requirements that the average household will not have.

2. The home is not just a residence but also an office for himself and his wife - and will have staff working there during the day. Again, not something you see in the average home.

3. "National average" is meaningless - depending on the climate, utilty costs can vary. From what I understand Gore's part of the country is particularly bad with extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters.

4. All the electricity he is using is from green, renewable sources for which he pays quite a bit extra. For all the carbon he is burning, he buys carbon offsets to compensate.

Fact is that he is walking the walk - to a large extent. Could he be doing more? Of course he could. One real criticism you can make of him is that he has a big house and he could make do with something smaller. However, how small is small enough for you? Some people will not be satisfied unless he moves into a one-bedroom apartment.

Attitudes like this (which BTW are equally prevalent among left wingers) are the prime reason why I will never join any political party. Mindlessly bashing your opponent seems to be a requirement.

- HCE

The Auto Prophet said...

HCE,

Thanks for writing.

1) Security systems do use some power, but secret service agents probably do not.

2) The problem is he has 20 rooms, a pool house, pools heated by natural gas, etc. This not just an office building.

3) National average is not meaningless. In MI, we spend some on AC and lots on heat. In the south, they spend lots on AC and not much on heat. All around it probably about averages out.

4) Electricity is a commodity that flows through a common grid. He may be buying some green electricity, but not all of it could be. Unless it was nuclear :-)

If Al Gore wanted to minimize his footprint, he would live in a smaller place.

Anonymous said...

Of course the point is that he is not asking anyone to cut drastically back on their lifestyle choices - his message pretty consistently has been that we can, without too great an effort, enjoy pretty much the same lifestyle that we want to and at the same time help reduce global warming. I have never seen him advocate complete austerity. So I'm not sure why we expect it of him. Check out his website http://www.climatecrisis.net and take a look at what he recommends. None of it involves selling your house and living in a hut.

If you look at the recommendations on his website, you'll see that he seems to be doing most of what he recommends. He purchases something like 16000 KW-hr of green power a month which more than covers his electricity usage. The home is currently being renovated to install solar panels which and then there's the carbon offsets he purchases etc etc.

Once again, he is most definitely a flawed messenger but he is nowhere near as bad as the right wing press likes to claim. Anyway, regardless of how flawed a messenger he is, it does not invalidate the message. Why is it that when anyone comes with a message people don't like, the first thing they do is to attack the messenger? BTW - this is a general comment and is not specific to this issue or to the right wing. Lefties do pretty much the same thing.

BTW - for the record, I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative, pro environment and a total car nut - the last two being a rather messy contradiction that I am still trying to sort out in my head :-)

- HCE

AutoMuse said...

AP, it takes a lot of energy to run the internet. After all, once you invent it, they will come.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie_Chapel_Ranch

Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford, Texas, is the home of President George W. Bush.

The passive-solar house is positioned to absorb winter sunlight, warming the interior walkways and walls of the residence.

Geothermal heat pumps circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet (100 m) deep in the ground.

A 40,000 US gallon (151 m³) underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern.

The water from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around the four-bedroom home.

John B said...

So "anonymous" thinks all is cool with the Goreacle bcause "you'll see that he seems to be doing most of what he recommends. He purchases something like 16000 KW-hr of green power a month which more than covers his electricity usage."

Apparently Gore has a nice little racket going on:

"The problem is that they were being purchased from Generation Investment Management -- chairman, Albert Gore, Jr. In other words, Al was paying Al for the privilege of wasting electricity. It's as if Gandhi had been photographed inside his ashram wearing spats and a waistcoat and sipping Boodles gin. From now on all the little gestures - riding in the hybrid limo, having the private jet pilot sign the carbon offset certificate, and for all we know, touring the North American continent in a solar-powered blimp - are going to look just the slightest bit hollow.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/warming_to_failure.html

It seems the Goracle is wearing no clothes. Any word on whether Al uses a heat pump, solar heating for his pool, ground source heating for his mansion, reinsulation, etc. All of these are well proven technologies readily available.

Gore reminds me of Leona Helmsley: "I don't conserve energy, only the little people conserve energy"

Anonymous said...

Generation (Al Gore's investment company) is an investment firm and does not sell carbon offsets and no, Al Gore is not paying himself for carbon offsets. The firm allows all their employees to expense their carbon offsets which is what Gore does.

His home is an old home and is currently under renovation to make it more efficient which includes adding solar panels. Once all this is done, his bills and the amount he expenses for his carbon offsets should also reduce. Also his electricity bill is around $400 a month more than it would be had he not purchased green power.

Finally, this exercise of shooting the messenger is ridiculous. Even assuming that Gore is a hypocrite, it does not invalidate the message. I wouldn't call him a hypocrite but he certainly could be doing more as poster boy of this movement. Still, the question at hand is global warming and not how the major spokesperson of the conservation movement behaves.

- HCE

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