As reported in the Christian Science Monitor, the debate over hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”, is a hot one, coming to a head at EPA hearings in New York. The article is worth a read, and points again to a broarder issue. There is no free lunch when it comes to energy. And generating electricity or heating our homes come at a real cost. Some we pay directly on our utility bills. Others we pay indirectly, on on tax bill, with government subsidies, tax breaks and such, and with increased costs in other arenas such as reduced water quality and other environmental damage that we wind up footing the bill for later.
And yet our energy policy and our energy practices pay way too little attention to energy efficiency. The McKinsey report indicated that investing in efficiency could SAVE the country half a trillion dollars. Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute have been banging the drum for years (and saving some of their corporate clients millions in energy costs). Linc Services is saving Massanutten Academy almost $7 million. And we know our customers have been saving a lot in homes. But it’s time a lot more people got on board with the common sense approach of energy efficiency first. As we make reduce our energy needs, solving the energy problem gets a lot easier.