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Letter: Folly in energy comparisons

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 After CenterPoint Energy sent a second home energy report to “please” me within three weeks, I need to vent. As the Good Book says, “Answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own conceit.”

 The report informed me that my natural gas consumption is up compared to my “efficient neighbors.” It said I need to take shorter showers and buy more energy-efficient appliances. For years I have practiced energy efficiency, including turning off the pilot for my gas fireplace.

 A message to the green-loving graph makers: I live in a homeowners association and half of my neighbors go south for the winter. Who obviously uses the most therms for home heat in the winter? Do CenterPoint Energy’s comparisons consider family health issues? Or holiday guests? Cold showers might work!

 Last week the local radio station reported CenterPoint Energy was soliciting for a wind farm so they could apply for federal (taxpayer) stimulus money. Neighbors, the costs of wind subsidies are extraordinarily high — $52.48 per million watt hours generated, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By contrast, subsidies for generating the same amount of electricity from natural gas are 63 cents.

 Wind energy is over 83 times more expensive than natural gas to generate the same amount of electricity. CenterPoint Energy’s implementation of wind energy will drive up energy costs for everyone. Meanwhile, Texas granted 651 permits in 2012 to allow drillers to burn off natural gas because they don’t know what to do with all the excess as gas production continues to rise. CenterPoint Energy’s response is to drink the green federal Kool-Aid and make a gross expensive plunge into folly. Meanwhile their taxpaying customers are sent energy reports to promote reducing a home’s comparatively puny therm consumption!

 A possible solution: take a permanent vacation. Doing so would help CenterPoint Energy conserve the therms and create a new category on the home energy report, “super-efficient neighbor.” Sometimes folly can only be properly exposed by stating the absurd.

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