Last year the Tennessee Center for Policy Research made quite a splash with a press release on Al Gore’s energy usage:
In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh–more than 20 times the national average.
They’ve just released figures for the past year
In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.
Feel free to check my calculations, but I think that 213,210 is less than 221,000. Honest folks who report this but want to criticize Gore might write something like: “Gore doesn’t reduce his energy consumption very much.” But the TCPR aren’t honest folks. Here’s what their report said:
Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations
And when Drudge linked, the text he used was “REPORT: Gore’s personal electricity consumption ‘up 10%’…” Naturally all the Gore-hating bloggers repeated this false claim, including, of course, Glenn Reynolds(“Lots of talk, but more bloated than ever. It’s almost like a metaphor.”) and Don Surber, who was fooled by the TCPR’s deceitful comparison of a year of Gore’s consumption for his home and office with just month for an average home.
The multi-millionaire “environmentalist” no longer consumes the electricity consumed by 20 normal people.
He now uses the electricity used by 232 mere mortals.
A commenter pointed out his error and Surber changed 232 to 19.333, but apparently without noticing that ithis meant that Gore’s energy use had gone down.
And that’s using the numbers from the TCPR. Gore’s spokeswoman Kalee Kreider says the real numbers are rather different:
In fact, over the past year the Gores’ utility bills have dropped 40 percent, thanks largely to the house’s spanking new geothermal heating and cooling system, which has reduced the Gores’ natural gas bill by 90 percent in the past year. …
Kreider pointed out that the renovations weren’t complete until November, so it’s a bit early to be attempting before-and-after comparisons. In addition, the Gores participate in the Nashville Electric Service’s Green Power Switch Program, which allows them to buy their electricity from renewable sources like wind power, solar power or methane gas from landfills (the house’s 33 solar panels only supply 4 percent of its power needs, per Kreider.) So any energy they burn won’t be burning them a bigger carbon footprint.