Better late than never:
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Al Gore, who was criticized for high electric bills at his Tennessee mansion, has completed a host of improvements to make the home more energy efficient, and a building-industry group has praised the house as one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly.
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 — even on his Christmas tree.
“One of the things that is tremendously powerful about what the Gores have done is demonstrate that you can take a home that was a dog, an absolute energy pig, and do things to correct that,” Shinn said.
In February, a conservative think tank criticized Gore for using an average of 16,000 kilowatt hours a month for an average monthly bill of $1,206 in 2006. The typical Nashville home uses about 1,300 kilowatt hours a month.
Gore has said the criticism was unfair because the 10,000-square-foot mansion was undergoing extensive remodeling. He said this week that “global warming denier” groups were trying to discredit him because they don’t like the attention he has given to climate change.
“You’re going to have people try to attack the messenger in order to get at the message. They have not been able to succeed,” Gore told CNN from Norway, where he picked up the Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work.
He still has pretty high electrical usage, but I grant that he probably has numerous people working out of his house:
Electricity usage at the home remains well above regional averages, but Gore’s power consumption decreased by 6,890 kilowatt hours, or 11 percent, between June and August, despite the heat wave.
Gore’s electric use increased again after he had to take his solar panels off-line in August so his new geothermal system could be integrated into the system. But his natural gas use has dropped 93 percent in the three months since the geothermal pump was activated.
At least he is trying to set an example.