Easy Being Green if it's Free. Though Maybe Not.
You don't hear his name bandied around as much these days, but Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has for decades been a strong advocate of negawatts. That is, energy utilities trading the energy they don't generate to those who do. So, say a household (or business) installs a 14 watt (CFL) light bulb instead an 75w incandescent one they've 61 unused watts, or negawatts that can be traded. Well, 15 or so years after he formally proposed the idea, Amory's concept is in practice in Australia. (Been used elsewhere before). A couple of years ago the NSW government introduced the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS), what they believe is "one of the first mandatory greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes in the world." This has many facets, but one is that companies can obtain tradable credits for supplying energy saving bulbs and low flow showerheads. EasyBeingGreen is one such operation. They are giving away packs that contain "6 energy saving lights and a water saving showerhead (for electric hot water users). Once installed the kit can save households up to $150 on their energy bill every year and eliminate approx. 1 tonne of greenhouse gas pollution, as well as saving an average of 21,000 litres of fresh water." Though it seems you can lead a horse to water, but not make him drink. Recent studies have shown that even though the products are given away free, many householders are not actually installing them, so as of October 2006 the available credit is likely to be halved. ::EasyBeingGreen.Disclaimer. The workplace of this writer is one location in NSW, where householders can apply for their free kits.