Massachusetts Teacher Conserves, Gets Audited

Many of the electricity conservation tips available in a Christian Science Monitor article from last Thursday will be old news to most Treehugger readers, as we've covered low-energy lighting, "phantom loads," and efficient home appliances regularly (obsessively some might say). What may be surprising is the story of Ray Janke, a Chicopee, Massachusetts, science teacher who challenged himself to save as much electricity as possible in his new house:
Two things happened: He saw a two-thirds reduction in his electric bill, and he found himself under audit by Mass Electric. The company thought he'd tampered with his meter. "They couldn't believe I was using so little," he says.
While the article doesn't detail it, Janke must have also exercised plenty of discipline in how he used electricity once he implemented his energy saving practices and technologies: as George Monbiot points out in Heat, conservation measures often lead to a "Rebound Effect," in which we end up negating conservation efforts by turning up the heat a few more degrees (for example) because we can afford to do so. Though it sounds strange, congratulations to Ray Janke for getting audited -- more of us should be getting visits from the electric company! ::Christian Science Monitor

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