Energy Guilt Trip

I hate my “Home Energy Report.” I don’t know if you get one of these things, but I get one in the mail every month. I don’t ask for it, yet it comes, printed on paper, stamped and brought by the mail man. I don’t get a paper bill from the power company, just this.

It’s not the mailing and printing that I object too, although it is a huge waste. It is the report that my house is always Not an efficient home. Then there is this little graph with a big yellow house representing my house, the bad, big energy sucking house and next to it is a little green house, half the size as the yellow one, the good, energy efficient house. From the pictures it looks like my house uses double the power. In actuality my house use 968 kWh and the good house used 897 kWh. The real difference is only 7.6%. Not the fifty percent that the info graphic makes it look like.

Then there are the forecasted energy use areas for January. They think that 18% of my energy comes from lighting. How the hell do they know. There is not an incandescent bulb in my house. No room is lit if I am not in it. Then there is the laundry percent, coming in at a whopping 9%. I may do two loads a week. Most of Russ’s clothes go to the cleaners and I have the biggest machine ever. I can wash four beds worth of sheets at a time. There are no savings there in January since I can’t hang clothes outside.

So my favorite stupid suggestions are the “How can I save more.” The one about unplugging entertainment devices not in use” is the biggest pain in the butt I have ever heard of. Do you know how hard it is to get to the cord? On top of that a cable box has to reboot every time it plugged in. That alone takes ten minutes. I would never get to watch the beginning of a show again. The solution is to get the manufacturers to make more efficient units.

Then the idea that we use our oven less by cooking things together at the same temperature is fine for Thanksgiving, but really I don’t want to cook four days worth of food all at once. Get real.

Reducing energy consumption is the right thing to do. It is better for the planet and keeps costs down so the power company does not have to build additional power plants that emit green house gasses, but sending me this report making me feel bad is not the way.

I get no credit for having a group of friends at my house every week for a few hours playing Mah Jongg. While they are at my house, they are not at theirs using energy. I also cook food for large numbers of people which means that all those people are not cooking. It is more efficient to make a lot in one place and not a little in many places. None of those things go into my account about how efficient I am.

My house may not be that efficient due to its age and my original windows. But I am not adding to the landfill by replacing them. They all work perfectly well and as long as I am only 7 % less efficient I am not worried about it.

So listen Duke Energy, you don’t know shit about how efficient I am. Stop mailing me paper, which is very inefficient and email me your lame suggestions and out of scale infographics. I know you think you are helping, but you aren’t! I don’t need your energy guilt trip.


One Comment on “Energy Guilt Trip”

  1. Susan Ketch says:

    I basically get the same report every 3 months. However, I just got a $35 reduction per month in my equal payment plan for being so efficient. Go figure?!


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