Blarney Green – June 30, 2008

Posted on June 30, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

NOTE: The “Gore” portion of this pie chart is purely fictional for satirical purposes.

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through the ideas of liberty. Visit TCPR online at:

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research obtained information about Gore’s home energy use through a public records request to the Nashville Electric Service. They found that Gore’s home, after being fitted with solar panels and a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient ones and overhauling the windows and ductwork, consumes more electricity than before.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration.” June 23, 2008

They say the Gore Score is 10% higher than before the green house effect was applied. While you drive your Prius and skip the kids’ summer trip to see Grandma and Grandpa, Gore used enough energy to power 232 U.S. homes for one month. And he has two other homes to add to the power grab. This should bring up a question in your mind. Do CFR light bulbs, solar panels, geothermal systems and all the other renovations really make a significant difference? Are they worth their expense in savings? Or – what is Gore doing in there to run up the electricity usage so much? Is he watching An Inconvenient Truth around the clock? Perhaps he keeps spotlights burning day and night to show off his Oscar, Emmy and Nobel on display.

“In the wake of becoming the most well-known global warming alarmist, Gore won an Oscar, a Grammy and the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gore saw his personal wealth increase by an estimated $100 million thanks largely to speaking fees and investments related to global warming hysteria.

‘Actions speak louder than words, and Gore’s actions prove that he views climate change not as a serious problem, but as a money-making opportunity,” Johnson said. “Gore is exploiting the public’s concern about the environment to line his pockets and enhance his profile.’” June 23, 2008

Al Gore quickly responded to the charges just like he did when he was first exposed for using much more electricity than his global warming blarney might suggest. The first exposure led him to re-fit his house with all the “green” house products his friends hope to sell to you someday soon. Now that he’s been exposed again for an even higher power usage, his spokesperson was quick to offer the following:

“Kreider pointed out that the renovations weren’t complete until November, so it’s a bit early to be attempting before-and-after comparisons. In addition, the Gores participate in the Nashville Electric Service’s Green Power Switch Program, which allows them to buy their electricity from renewable sources like wind power, solar power or methane gas from landfills (the house’s 33 solar panels only supply 4 percent of its power needs, per Kreider.) So any energy they burn won’t be burning them a bigger carbon footprint.”

Notice exactly what she said. Renovations were completed by or in November. This is June. It isn’t too early to compare this June’s usage to last June’s usage. She said Gore participates in the Nashville Electric Service’s Green Power Switch Program, supposedly providing them with energy from renewable sources like wind, solar or methane gas.

But according to the Knoxville Utilities Board, a Green Power Switch Utility Company like NES, all the energy produced by Tennessee Valley Authority’s renewable resources flows onto the power grid to be used by its consumers. Physical laws determine where electricity is ultimately used, so power from these cleaner sources will go into TVA’s electric system as part of the Valley’s total power mix, rather than to individual homes or businesses. When the green power resources aren’t operating–for instance, when wind speeds are too low to generate energy–TVA’s other resources will continue to supply reliable electricity.…

Renewable energy isn’t being directed to Gore’s Belle Meade mansion. It’s going onto the grid with that produced by coal-fired plants which comprises about 60% of the total. TVA’s fossil system also includes 83 generators powered by combustion turbines producing 6,003 megawatts to handle peak demand periods. About 30% of TVA’s power supply comes from its three nuclear power plants. That leaves only 10% to come from TVA’s hydroelectric, wind, solar and methane gas from landfills.

Conclusion: 90% of Al Gore’s Mega Watts use comes from TVA’s Fossil-Fuel generation plants, and that’s increased 10% since his green installations.

Gore’s spokesperson responded quickly to these revelations:

“I am happy to provide more information about this from the Gores’ perspective. First, this release yesterday are a mere re-release of old bills. If any of you have ever worked with contractors, you know that renovations take years. The Gores renovated a 80 year old house from stem to stern. T
his took about 3 years to go through all the ducwork, to install a geothermal system, to replace all the windows, to put in solar panels (which used to be illegal in Bellemeade and took 6 months to reverse).

So, to be clear, the Gores’ achieved Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in November 2007. The reduction in the electricity and natural gas bills–you need to look at both in order to truly evaluate their carbon footprint, really kicked in in 2008. At that point, evaluating both, there is about a 40 percent reduction.

Their natural gas bill has seen the biggest reduction as a result of the geothermal system. For electricity, they purchase green power through their utility, which is called “Green Power Switch.” It isn’t an offset, any customer can purchase green power (solar, wind, methane gas) and its a wonderful program.”

Gore’s usage comes from NES who buys from TVA. NES has no windmills of its own. The renewable energy sources belong to TVA. According to TVA , there is only one windmill farm, Buffalo Mountain Wind Park (now they’re calling it a “park”?). Residents of the area who often drive past the Park say the windmills are still a great deal of the time. Also, according to TVA’s own web site, the hydroelectric plant produces little energy in years of drought or less than adequate rainfall. The contribution of renewable energy to Gore’s home can not be significant.

Krieder directs the attention away from Gore’s electricity use to his natural gas use. However, there is no shortage of natural gas, which is a clean form of energy already. Reducing Gore’s use of clean-burning abundant natural gas doesn’t negate the rise in electricity use from TVA’s 90% fossil-fuel energy. Green Power Switch, as far as Belle Meade mansion’s carbon footprint relates, is a smoke screen.

Bottom line: Don’t be fooled.

There is no more time to do nothing.


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