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Case #540

Title:
Couple Designs House to Emit Less Carbon Dioxide

Summary:

For Mike and Catherine Tidwell, January 2001 findings of the (US) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change first set them to plotting their home energy revolution. Most scientists believe the world's CO emissions must drop 80 per cent below current levels to stabilize the climate. So that became their goal: 80 per cent. They felt that it was the least they could do in a nation where the government seemingly sabotages even modest international efforts to stem climate change. All but a tiny fraction of Mike and Catherine Tidwell?s household energy now comes from renewable, C02-neutral sources. The electricity arrives from photovoltaic panels on the roof, the heating from a thermostat-controlled pot-belly stove that burns corn kernels and warms their entire suburban home, and the hot water from a separate rooftop panel that converts sunlight to infrared heat. The total cost to reach this goal was a little more than $7,500 (£5,245), money borrowed on a home equity loan. Please see full text for details on how they refitted their home to reach their goal plus how they budgeted their projects.

Comments:

The Tidwells proved that it is possible for ordinary people to retrofit a home to make it emit far less carbon dioxide than a standard house emits. The cost to do this was modest in their case and upfront costs will be paid back in energy savings alone in a matter of a few years. As Mike Tidwell says, ?except to cook our food with natural gas and heat our water on really cloudy days, we now contribute nothing to global warming through home energy use. In the process, we've reduced our estimated CO2 contribution from 19,488 pounds per year to just under 864, a drop of almost 96 per cent. If every household in the industrialized world made only half of these changes we would be well on our way to solving global warming.? Certainly for the developed world, the Tidwell?s prove to be great role models and teachers for what can be done to combat global warming on an individual basis.
Location: US
Action: Building
Setting: Developed World
Extent of Action: Local
Issues: Environment
Year(s): 2001
Outcome successful
Source: The Ecologist Report, November 2001, p.38

Contacts:

Prepared By: sl 2/02
Rating: 1
 
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