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June 18, 2006


Aaron Gustafson

I agree, it's a shite state of affairs, but some states are trying to make a difference.

Here in CT, we are making some great strides toward reducing our energy consumption (and, thereby, reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned and the impact we have on the atmosphere). We have the 20% by 2010 campaign which encourages towns to start making the move to renewable energy, which will begin being mandated as of 2010.

Also, both UI and CL&P are offering the ability for homeowners, businesses, and organizations to offset their own energy use by switching to 50% or 100% renewable energy directly on their energy bill. For the average homeowner, it's only a few dollars more a month, but makes great strides in reducing our dependence on oil and (more importantly) coal.

CT also offers a *ton* of subsidies for municipal and residential solar and other renewables. Then there's solar hot water which pays for itself in less than 5 years, works year-round and is even more efficient than PV (photovoltaic for producing electricity).

Then there are the simple things we can do: switching out our incandescent bulbs for compact flourescent; properly insulating our homes (espaecially our doors and windows); planting a tree on the north side of your house to shade your home in the summer and allow the sun to warm your home in the winter; make your next vehicle a hybrid or a vehicle that can run on biodiesel; and heat your home with biodiesel.

I guess my feeling is that we (unfortunately) can't depend on our national legislators to make enforce change. They are far too deep in the pockets of big energy. We need to take matters into our own hands and start making the small changes that add up.

For more info, check out the SmartPower (smartpower.org), the CT Energy Conservation Management Board (ctsavesenergy.org), and the CT Clean Energy Fund (ctcleanenergy.com).


Aaron, I'm completely impressed! Perhaps we should create a blog called "Designers who Conserve Energy" :-)

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