Imagine that Dominion Energy – instead of wasting its money on building fracked-gas pipelines to nowhere (except perhaps climate catastrophe) and spending millions of dollars a year buying up our political system and pushing out propaganda to influence public opinion – spent its money on things like the following? As this new video from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) vividly explains:
A recent report by ACEEE found that rural residents have energy burdens (the percentage of household income spent on energy bills) that on average are about 40% higher than those of metropolitan dwellers. Particularly hard hit by high burdens are rural low-income, elderly, and renter households, as well as those residing in manufactured and multifamily housing.
Energy efficiency and home weatherization programs can greatly reduce this burden and make energy bills affordable, especially in rural communities. By evening out indoor temperatures, they can also make a house more comfortable. Rural utilities can offer a variety of programs to help reduce their customers’ energy bills.
Imagine if Dominion Energy was ordered…er, “incentivized” by our legislature to make energy efficiency a priority – to do what you see in the video in hundreds of thousands of Virginia homes? The savings in energy use, carbon pollution and $$$ would be enormous. In stark contrast, right now Dominion is actually incentivized NOT to be energy efficient, as they make money by “building stuff” (e.g., “new substations, transformers, meters, and power lines”), NOT by saving energy.
Note, by the way, that energy efficiency – even if it isn’t as “sexy” as wind turbines or solar farms – is America’s cheapest energy resource, with “an average cost of 2.8 cents per kWh—about one-half to one-third the cost of alternative new electricity resource options.” That’s right, 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of new electricity-generating options like polluting, destructive fracked-gas pipelines to nowhere. Hello Virginia General Assembly? Are you aware of any of this? Do you care?