Two bits of green news on the home front:
First the hard news:
We had our home energy audit today. A wonderful company called TerraLogos came by and for a few hundred dollars, checked us out. With cool gadgets such as hand-held laser remote temperature seekers with a cute little screen that shows where the house is leaking out, pouring out, costly warmth, to a door-sized blower that measures the pressure differential in your house to locate exactly where you need to stanch the air flowing out of (or in the summertime, into) your home, to an assessment of my appliances, they are going to help me understand where all my energy inefficiencies are skulking about, and what I can do about it.
The full report comes in two weeks - I will be certain to share the news with all of you. (What do you think: a new reality show?!? Who thought watching people buy houses would be a winner?) In the meantime, as a sneak peak, Atticus, my gentle but thorough inspector (how can you not like a guy named Atticus? It conjures up images of Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird, with all the righteousness and courage he portrayed.) showed me that my leaky house was operating at twice the air transfer or pull or some such (I will be able to report more precisely in two weeks) than we should be.
Now, on the one hand, we can be looking at thousands of dollars to fix all these problems. On the other, as Atticus kindly pointed out, there are lots of places for us to save, both in money and CO2 emissions. So the question is really not can we do anything, but what do we do when?
The better news is this:
In reviewing our energy bills with Atticus, we noticed that over the past two years, which coincide with our coming-of-age as more aware energy consumers, we cut our summer electrical bill in half, and our winter electrical bill by 20%. So even though we pay for 100% green energy, still and all, we know that the less energy we use, the better it is for everyone. (Yes, it does cost a little more. But the difference between last year and this year for our entire annual electrical bill was under $200. That is, for the price of two theater tickets and a great dinner, not including baby sitter, we can power our home totally on green electrical energy. Where else can righteousness be bought so cheaply!)
The grid still needs to supply a full load of energy - and on the whole, energy demand is still growing. So if we can reduce our share to offset new houses, new offices, more buildings, etc, we are helping everyone, including ourselves. That is the ticket, grow the economy without growing the energy usage. It can be done.