Further response from Al Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider on the assertions of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research that despite rennovations Al Gore's Belle Meade home is still guzzling energy at an alarming rate:
I am happy to provide more information about this from the Gores' perspective. First, this release yesterday are a mere re-release of old bills. If any of you have ever worked with contractors, you know that renovations take years. The Gores renovated a 80 year old house from stem to stern. This took about 3 years to go through all the ducwork, to install a geothermal system, to replace all the windows, to put in solar panels (which used to be illegal in Bellemeade and took 6 months to reverse).
So, to be clear, the Gores' achieved Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in November 2007. The reduction in the electricity and natural gas bills--you need to look at both in order to truly evaluate their carbon footprint, really kicked in in 2008. At that point, evaluating both, there is about a 40 percent reduction.
Their natural gas bill has seen the biggest reduction as a result of the geothermal system. For electricity, they purchase green power through their utility, which is called "Green Power Switch." It isn't an offset, any customer can purchase green power (solar, wind, methane gas) and its a wonderful program.
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