Tapping the Power of Conservation


From mountaintop removal to climate change, burning coal and fossil fuels for energy, just isn’t a path for a bright future. Fortunately America has a little-tapped energy source that is rarely talked about – conservation.  For example, before the city of Austin, Texas agreed to build a new 500 megawatt coal-fired power plant, they first turned to efficiency. At a fraction of the cost of building a power plant, refrigerators, insulation, and windows were replaced. The city’s “conservation power plant” ended up cutting 700 megawatts of power usage, and residents benefit by saving money on utilities every month.

Dream of a Nation Partner
A Plan to Re-Energize America
Kilowatt Ours is a documentary by Jeff Barrie that has become a national movement to promote energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. Kilowatt Ours also now runs a non-profit organization advocating for conservation power plants in every community in America. Learn more. Kilowatt Ours

Read the Kilowatt Ours essay: "Building a Conservation Nation"

Read the Kilowatt Ours essay

Endnotes & References


Kilowatt Ours


What Can I Do?

Take simple steps to reduce your electricity usage.

Why? Replacing your light bulbs, turning off power strips, using less hot water, heating and cooling your house less, and weatherizing your home can save over $600 and over 2 tons of coal a year.


What If?

Q.  What if every state enacted widespread public education about energy use like California?

A.  After launching an inexpensive public service announcement campaign, California began saving about 5,500 megawatts, or roughly 11 new coal-fired power plants, of electricity every year through minor habit changes.

Q. What if the federal government spent $10 billion on energy efficiency retrofits?

A.  The Apollo Alliance estimates that a $10 billion conservation bill would create 100,000 jobs and reduce energy use by 30 percent in federal buildings.