Example: [Collected February 2007]
Al Gore's Personal Energy Use Is His Own "Inconvenient Truth"
Gore's home uses more than 20 times the national average
Last night, Al Gore's global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee
Gore's mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly
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
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.
"As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use," said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.
In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.
Origins: The above-quoted 2007 report from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR), claiming that Al Gore's Tennessee home uses over
The specific numbers involved were disputable (the TCPR claimed Gore's home uses electricity at a rate more than
Some important points not covered in the report, however, was whether equating the Gores' home to the average American home was really a relevant comparison. A spokesperson for the Gore family responded by noting some mitigating factors, such as the fact that the Gores' Nashville residence isn't an "average"
The former vice-president maintained that comparing raw energy-usage figures is misleading and that he leads what he advocates, a "carbon-neutral lifestyle," by purchasing energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance out the carbon emissions produced in generating the electricity his home uses:
A carbon footprint is a calculation of the CO2 fossil fuel emissions each person is responsible for, either directly because of his or her transportation and energy consumption or indirectly because of the manufacture and eventual breakdown of products he or she uses.
The vice president has done that, Kreider argues, and the family tries to offset that carbon footprint by purchasing their power through the local Green Power Switch
The former vice president has installed solar panels, a rainwater-collection system and geothermal heating. He also replaced all incandescent lights with compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs.
"Short of tearing it down and staring anew, I don't know how it could have been rated any higher," said Kim Shinn of the U.S. Green Building Council, which gave the house its second-highest rating for sustainable design.
Gore's improvements cut the home's summer electrical consumption by 11 percent compared with a year ago, according to utility records reviewed by The Associated Press. Most Nashville homes used 20 percent to 30 percent more electricity during the same period because of a record heat wave.
Cillizza, Chris and Matthew Mosk. "War on Warming Begins at (Al Gore's) Home." The Washington Post. 1 March 2007 (p. A8). Hall, Kristin M. "Group Criticizes Gore's Electricity Use." The Boston Globe. 28 February 2007. Paine, Anne. "Gore Gets Heat for His Electric Bills." The Tennessean. 26 February 2007. Schelzig, Erik. "Gore Completes Renovations to Tenn. Home." San Francisco Chronicle. 14 December 2007. Tapper, Jake. "Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth'? — A $30,000 Utility Bill." ABC News. 26 February 2007.