Environmental activist and former Vice President Al Gore is coming under fire for his home’s energy use. According to a report released earlier this week by the National Center for Public Policy Research, Gore’s home in Nashville, Tennessee uses over 20 times more energy than the typical American household.
The report claims that Gore’s home used 230,889 kilowatt hours of electricity between August 2016 and July 2017. Compare this to the average U.S. residential utility customer, who uses 10,812 kilowatt hours of electricity, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. For perspective, this number equates to the average American home spending about 2.7% of their income on energy bills. Al Gore, on the other hand, spent $22,000.
Additional findings from the report were quite surprising. The amount of energy Gore uses each year is the equivalent of what an American phone uses in 21 years. Not only that, but Gore’s pool sucks up enough energy to power six average homes for an entire year. So considering that the average person only swims in their pool about six times a year, critics are calling Gore a hypocrite.
The environmental enthusiast did spend $60,000 to install 33 solar panels around his estate, but they don’t quite produce enough energy to power the entire home. Of the more than 230,000 KWh his home uses, the solar panels only cover 1,092 kWh per month, which is only 5.7% of Gore’s monthly energy use.
At the end of the report, author Drew Johnson wrote:
“No matter how the numbers are viewed, Al Gore uses vastly more electricity at his home than the average American — a particularly inconvenient truth given his hypocritical calls for all Americans to reduce their home energy use.”
Gore has not responded to the harsh claims, but it is crucial to understand that larger homes inevitably use more energy. The Gore family home is a large 10,070-square-foot Colonial located in the Belle Meade section of Nashville. It was built inn 1915 and has 20 rooms including eight full bathrooms and five bedrooms on a 2.09 acre lot.
And while Gore is coming under fire for his energy use, there’s no denying that he has done as much as anyone to make climate change and environmental issues a national priority.
There are a variety of ways to reduce the amount of energy we use, and one of the best ways to cut energy use is to start with your home’s heating and cooling system. Here are five easy ways to reduce the HVAC energy costs in your home.
Check your ducts
If you’re noticing a lot of dust in your home for no reason, your ducts could be to blame. Excessive dust is a tell-tale sign of leaky ducts, which could mean you’re paying for warm and cool air to just escape from your home.
Don’t forget seasonal checks
As a rule of thumb, its best to invest in preventative seasonal checks twice a year to ensure your HVAC system is operating efficiently. A simple inspection can make sure all parts are in good working order and aren’t in need of repair.
The more insulation you add to your home, the more your home will be protected from energy loss. Insulation acts as a heat barrier in the cool weather, and it will ensure you don’t have to cool your home more than necessary once summer rolls around.
Use a programmable thermostat
There is no need to heat or cool your home when you’re not there, and a programmable thermostat is the answer to this energy waste. Spending just five minutes to set a program can reduce energy use tenfold in your home.
Change air filters
When your system’s air filters are dirty, your machine has to work harder to work. And the harder it works, the more energy it wastes (and the more you have to pay in energy bills). Change your air filters once at the beginning of every month to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Do you have any other methods of making your home more environmentally friendly? Share your tips with us, we’d love to hear!