"Kilowatt Ours" — A Night Out For The Non-Consumer Advocate

by Katy on July 29, 2008 · 3 comments

I went yesterday evening to the Portland, Oregon Sustainability Film -Fest at a local, (even walkable) movie theater. The film showing was Kilowatt Ours.

I had vaguely heard of the film, but was mainly going because it was free, super close to the house and sounded right up my alley. Did I mention free?

The lobby of the Bagdad Theater was set up with booths. The Energy Trust of Oregon, (already got my free home energy audit, thank you.) PGE’s Renewable Energy Program, (already switched over) and the Multnomah County library, which had a large table set up with various books about energy conservation and green living.

I checked out two books: Living Like Ed: A Guide To The Eco-Friendly Life by Ed Begley Jr, and This Cold House, by Colin Smith. (Wow. Pretty darned cool to get library books from an already free movie. They must have heard The Non-Consumer Advocate was attending!)

The documentary, Kilowatt Ours focused on how 52% of America’s electricity is generated from the burning of coal, and the environmental implications of this outdated and harmful practice.

These effects include everything from decimation of entire mountains in the Appalachians, to flooding, air pollution and global warming.

It’s pretty much a crappy way to generate electricity through and through.

The film did go into renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal and wind.

However, the main point of the film was:

It is our willingness to be mindful with our personal electricity usage that will make the most impact.

From switching over to compact fluorescent light bulbs, (CFL’s) to choosing appliances with an Energy Star certification. These changes are accessible for most everyone.

The filmmaker Jeff Barrie held a Q & A session afterwards. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay to the end, as I did want to introduce myself.

I plan on hosting a screening of The Story Of Stuff at the house, (as soon as it comes in at the library) and will now add Kilowatt Ours to the line-up. 

So shine up your dancing shoes, oh mindful electricity users, it’ll be a wild and crazy night!

Now if I can only figure out how to get the library to set up a booth in my living room.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Jeff Barrie, Kilowatt’s Ours’ filmmaker has issued a challenge to decrease your electricity usage by 25%

Can you do it?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer July 31, 2008 at 4:40 pm

I don’t know about usage, but I was able to reduce the cost I paid by 22%. And all from unplugging appliances when they aren’t in use.


mrthawatch August 11, 2008 at 9:38 am

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web site very good to visit and also very helpful for many people.


Chimney Balloon August 18, 2008 at 9:55 am

I read the book “This cold house” by Colin Smith. It had a distinctly British viewpoint to it but I love the reference to his father cussing at the wood burning fireplace all the time.
I was kind of surprised he made no reference in his fireplace chapter to alternative dampers like the Chimney Balloon or top sealing dampers to fix drafty fireplaces. Especially since the chimney balloon has been around in the UK for 20 years now and is a pretty well know device over there.
Colin did draw soma very descriptive imagery to explain how the stack effect works in a home and his experiences with gas fireplaces.


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