#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, February 21st, 2014 12:52
#2 By: Jason Andresen, February 21st, 2014 13:07
Correlation is not causation.
I suspect energy efficiency improvements track income level a lot closer than party affiliation.
#3 By: wygit, February 21st, 2014 13:27
And even when your party is giving whargarbl speeches that say Compact Fluorescent bulbs are somehow UnAmerican?
I loved the Beast headline: "The GOP’s Relentless Crusade to Save America From Commie Light Bulbs"
Glenn Beck says he'll fire any employee who uses the dastardly things?
Limbaugh, on discovering his hotel room had one in the bedside lamp? "Looked over the shade and damned if there wasn't a compact fluorescent bulb in there. I thought about unscrewing the thing, just leaving it there as a calling card."
#4 By: C Taylor, February 21st, 2014 13:33
Is that due to Republicans seeing energy efficiency as a good thing for some reason other than fear of anthropogenic global warming? Cost savings come to mind, as would a general desire to reduce dependence on utilities for those in rural areas (which would have less reliable power delivery and trend more conservative).
Or is that due to the number of people who identify Democrat and mouth platitudes towards "green" ideas as a sort of class or status identifier (look at me, I'm a caring person!) but in fact don't give a crap one way or the other beyond how they are perceived. Cough... Algore... Cough.
#5 By: Jeff Fisher, February 21st, 2014 13:34
If you look at those bar charts there are three improvements which republicans report having done more than democrats:
Purchasing an energy efficient appliance.
Improve home insulation.
Install attic vent/fan.
Hmm what other than political views might one expect those to correlate with... hmmm. How about HOME OWNERSHIP. Duh.
I'd also say that using "smart meter technology" isn't really a decision of the home owner. It's more of a decision of their utility company, so individual democrats can't get much credit for being slightly ahead on that.
edit: Also isn't it really hard to avoid purchasing energy efficient appliances these days?
#6 By: seyo, February 21st, 2014 13:38
Republicans are really into "do as I say, not as I do" so this doesn't really come as a surprise. Also, I suspect their energy efficiency preferences have more to do with saving money (they love money more than anything else) than it has to do with environmental concerns. It just so happens that those two things go hand in hand.
#7 By: Jeff Fisher, February 21st, 2014 13:39
BTW by an absurd margin the most powerful energy efficient choice you can make about your lifestyle is to not live in a single family home.
#8 By: Jeff, February 21st, 2014 13:54
Oh no, they're certainly still available, but the cost is so similar to efficient ones there's no point. However, my efficient dishwasher still has an option to use about 120 gallons when it runs. Of hot water.
Needless to say, we don't ever use that setting.
#9 By: Jason Andresen, February 21st, 2014 13:58
Townhouses are that much better? I guess you have two walls that aren't facing the outside, plus: fewer windows! Windows are the worst energy wasters. Even really expensive good ones are so much worse than a generic insulated outdoor wall.
As far as apartments go, I spent a lot more heating and cooling my first apartment than I did my first townhome. The reason is that the apartment manager installed only the cheapest and crappiest heat pumps on the market, and left them in there long long past their operational lifetime; because replacing a heatpump came out of their budget while electricity costs were all mine.
When I moved into the townhouse it also had a really old and lousy heatpump, but I replaced it with a modern high efficiency model that ended up saving quite a bit of money over the long term. Ownership has its privileges.
#10 By: Jeff Fisher, February 21st, 2014 14:09
Yea, even townhouses are going to be better on average than single family houses.
Shared walls are, of course, like perfect insulation.
They are also generally smaller, so you are just heating less volume.
And they are generally putting more people on the same sized lot, which means a lot less landscaping water.
Further they are generally closer to work and amenities, so you drive less.
Sure an old multifamily building will be less efficient, but so are many old single family houses.
And there are lots of minimally maintained single family houses around. I once rented part of one which had single pane plastic windows which were popping out of their frames leaving gaps even when closed. Hideously inefficent place. Though with 6 people in it, still a quite efficient lifestyle.
#11 By: Brian Sizemore, February 21st, 2014 14:10
I think it'd track more closely with income level up to a point.
#12 By: Jeff Fisher, February 21st, 2014 14:12
Oh, and also "attic vent/fan". The most republican improvement. That's an air conditioning optimization mainly, right? Run it to blow the hot air out from under your roof.
So least relevant in cooler climates, most relevant in hot and humid ones. I think there is a correlation that republican areas are warmer on average in the US.
#13 By: Mellivora Capensis, February 21st, 2014 14:16
Came here to say this...though I would never underestimate the power of their immunity to cognitive dissonance.
#14 By: Jason Andresen, February 21st, 2014 14:18
I guess I should have made the point more clear that landlords are typically very late to make efficiency improvements unless they are paying for the power (which is rare). You generally have to be in a situation where you are in charge of your appliances before they can be improved.
Of course a homeowner can be just as reticent as a landlord, but at least they have the option to be good.
Condos I guess are the best option, except that they are condos.
Or I suppose apartments where the heating/cooling is central to the building (more common in older building in my experience, and often only heating) and the Landlord has a direct interest in improvements that keep the cost down. Per-unit heat pumps are definitely the worst option from a practical efficiency standpoint.
#15 By: Mister44, February 21st, 2014 14:21
IIRC, a Prius is more likely to driven by a Republican than a Democrat. Simply put, a lot of these energy saving devices cost money in the short term, and wealthy Republicans are more likely to afford them.
I should also point out that the stereotype of Republicans being anti-environment is a wrong one. Conservative hunting affiliated organizations do a lot for conservation programs. Republicans aren't against viable energy saving tech. The two things they are most against are things like money making carbon credit schemes, and subsidizing clean tech that wouldn't be viable with out the subsidies.
#16 By: IronEdithKidd, February 21st, 2014 14:37
As a raving socialist who also owns a Prius, I'm here to dispel this myth that they cost more than other cars. It's a midsize sedan, with a sticker price to match. When I bought it, it was less expensive than the less-efficient hybrid on offer from Ford (srsly, Ford, $36k??, I can get a new Acura for less than that), and comparably priced with the also less-efficient hybrid on offer from Honda. I bought it because the calculation came down to: same price as other cars, spend about half as much on fuel, plus totally kick-ass stereo and is a hatchback (these last two are important considerations for me, YMMV).
#17 By: MTHead, February 21st, 2014 15:31
I could make an obvious partisan joke about hot air here, but I won't.
#18 By: big_ryan, February 21st, 2014 16:39
who can afford to buy a new car though? i make what i consider a good living and the last car i bought was $6k and 5 years old
good luck finding a prius in that range
#19 By: big_ryan, February 21st, 2014 16:54
my republican family went full solar a few years ago too, i don't think i know any democrats who have gone even partially solar
why did my republican family go solar? because they are struggling financially and it was the smart thing to do
#20 By: Jeff, February 21st, 2014 16:56
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