Al Gore Proves Conservation Is the Wrong Strategy?

Thomas Lifson points out that after Al Gore’s green refit of his Tennessee mansion, a deserving target of prior scorn, his home is now using 10% more electricity than before the refit and that this might be seen as a demonstration that energy conservation isn’t a viable national policy goal. The thought is, “if Al Gore can’t do it, how the heck is everybody else supposed to do better?”

Good point, but there’s one small problem – the data is incomplete. From the source press release:

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.

OK, so his electricity has increased 10% but what of his total energy usage? How have his natural gas bills changed over the same time period, if at all? If he was getting all of his energy via electricity via safe, necessary nuclear energy then his carbon load would be close to zero, even if his electricity was up by 10%.

So, if Al Gore’s gas bills have gone up or stayed consistent then the truth belies his agenda. However, if they’ve fallen dramatically (we can calculate BTU’s from kilowatts and cubic feet of gas) then the Tennessee Center loses credibility. I’ve sent them an e-mail for clarification.