Tuesday, March 06, 2007

According To U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Average American House Contributes Twice As Much Greenhouse Gas As The Average Car

..."[Mike] Tidwell, an environmental activist concerned with climate change, has outfitted his home with energy-efficient appliances, a corn-burning stove and solar panels. Now, the two-story house sometimes produces more electricity than it needs and sends the surplus to Pepco's distribution system.

Across the Washington area, homeowners alarmed about utility rates and greenhouse gases are seeking to slash their power use or produce their own energy from renewable sources. Among them, Tidwell and a handful of others have succeeded in creating homes that require only minimal energy from power plants and fossil fuels.

What they are doing -- not going off the grid, but often going without its power-- is not cheap or easy. But they want to prove it is not impossible.

"I'm not living in a cave and freezing to death," Tidwell said. "The point is, this is do-able."

It is difficult to track exactly how many homes in the area have been overhauled to reduce energy use or produce renewable energy. Utility companies said at least 19 homes in the area are able to make more energy than they use.

Interest in such projects seems to be growing, albeit from very low levels. At Chesapeake Wind & Solar, a Jessup company that installs solar panels, business has doubled every year for the past three years. The company installed more than 100 sets last year in the mid-Atlantic region.

"We just pick up the phone and answer it, or answer an e-mail, and we experience this growth," said Jeff Gilbert, chief technical officer.

Some homeowners are making changes to avoid higher utility costs: Pepco and Washington Gas have raised rates sharply, and Baltimore Gas and Electric is planning an increase in June.

But often, the goal is to combat climate change. The average American house contributes more than twice as much greenhouse gas -- pollutants that trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere -- as the average car, according to the Environmental Protection Agency." ...

David A. Fahrenthold "Living Lightly on the Grid:
Takoma Park Man Saves Energy, Sets Example in Fight Against Climate Change" Washington Post March 6, 2007


The late American composer Lou Harrison's environmentally friendly home in Joshua Tree, California, North America.

Lou Harrison was a pathbreaker in combining deep artistic creativity and environmental sensitivity and activism.

A Cave for a Composer: Lou Harrison's Desert Retreat Joshua Tree, CA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Taking Action At Home

Photo credit: (c) www2.hmc.edu. All rights reserved. With thanks.


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