When is a bill not a bill? This is a question asked in this New York Times article (might require registration) which starts out being about Larry Schlussler, creator of the Sun Frost refrigerator (we wrote about it here). The answer is of course: "When it's zero". In the article, we learn about how Larry Schlussler has made his house very energy efficient - so much so that he's actually producing more energy with his solar panels than the what he's using, hence the "bill" question. But as the article unravels, it becomes clear that it's not really about Larry - he's only the "human-interest" hook used at the start - but about plugging energy-efficiency in a way that should be appealing to the average person; it talks about the "high end" solutions, like LED lights and Sun Frost appliances, but it also mentions the possibility of cutting the utility bill by taking the less expensive (and less scary to the neophyte) middle of the road: replacing old appliance with more recent and energy-efficient ones, looking for the Energy Star label, compact fluorescents, etc. All things considered, it's a decent mainstream article about the benefits of efficiency. More like that, please, and then people will inevitably dig deeper and go to the next level. We need it.
::NYT: If Your Home Utility Bill Is Zero, Is It Still a Bill? (might require registration)