Gore Electricity

Gore Electricity seems to be the attention of everyone these days - but mostly negative attention from political opponents and righteous environmentalists. The fact that former vice president and global warming solutions advocate Al Gore uses twenty times more electricity in one year than the average American, says exactly what?

According to the Nashville Electricity Service, Al Gore's 20-room, 8-bathroom, 10,000 square foot home "devoured" nearly 221,000 kWh per year, more than 20 times the national household average. Gore's electricity monthly bill topped $1,359.

If you listen to groups like the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, you will hear that while Al Gore's global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, maybe he deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

It's always easy to call someone long on talk and short on walk but the truth is that Gore electricity is actually "green electricity". The Gore electricity bill shows the he voluntarily pays the higher cost for something called "Green Power Switch", which uses more expensive energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power.

al gore
How does this work?

Many energy companies are now offering consumers the opportunity to purchase electricity from green energy sources. These green energy sources include, wind energy, hydro energy, biomass, solar energy and will begin to include marine energy sources such as wave power, tidal stream and tidal impoundments and tidal barrages.

This separation of renewable energy from oil, gas, coal and nuclear is possible due to the Renewable Energy certificate schemes now being developed worldwide, these certificates enable units of electricity, such as KWh to be identified as soon as they are produced and fed into the national grid. All units must be accounted for both in terms of how and when they were produced and who sold them to whom. Theoretically this means consumers can buy units from specific turbines, in reality the actual electrons running through a consumers meter will not have be generated by any source in particular, as generally all electricity, however it has been generated is fed into the national grid. Buying green electricity in the manner means that you are buying up a certain tokens that acknowledge that every unit you have used has been made up for from a renewable source.

When you switch to an accredited "Green" electricity provider, you're instructing them to purchase your nominated percentage of electricity from new renewable sources, rather than coal fired power stations. You still receive your electricity in the normal way, but every kilowatt hour of the nominated percentage of Green Electricity you purchased will be supplied into the grid from a renewable source.

Gore also purchases offsets for carbon fuel use. So, technically, Gore electricity is probably carbon neutral, because for every bit of CO2 he puts into the air, a forest is built with his money to sequester that same CO2. Does he drive an SUV? Of course, but it's a hybrid SUV.

Gore electricity consumption proves what? He has done twenty times more for the environmental movement than the average American. His contribution to the exchange of information about Global Warming has been much more than the average American. The truth is that the average American is not a former vice president, and the average American does not reside in a 20-room mansion, has no domestic staff, does not have an extensive security system with perimeter lighting, does not have extensive computer and communications requirements, not to speak of HVAC duties, etc. Yes, Al Gore lives a life of privilege and luxury, as do most millionaires. If you honestly expect a wealthy politician, no matter how well-intentioned, to live life like a serf, you are badly misguided about the modern world. Would honest Abe Lincoln (had he lived to see the day) have moved from the White House back to the log cabin from whence he came? Will world devolve from it's addiction to technology and modernism, only to embrace the stone age?

Instead of the whole world environmental initiative being about returning everyone to the stone age, maybe it could be about turning our future world into a bigger and better place, with less harm to the environment, being a more populated and prosperous world without fossil fuels. Isn't that what Gore Electricity is all about: using more of the "right kind" of electricity? Or is Gore Electricity really about who has what and who doesn't and who shouldn't?

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Randy Hurst
The Electricity Forum


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