Energy Comparisons Between Al Gore’s and President George Bush’s Homes-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Descriptions of two homes, one an energy-consuming mansion and the other an energy-conserving ranch house.  The eRumor says the energy-consuming one is that of Al Gore who is the champion of the environment.  The other is President George Bush’s Texas ranch.

The Truth:

The comparisons are fairly accurate, according to published reports.

An investigation by the Tennessee Center For Policy Research published in February, 2006, focused on Al Gore’s 10,000 square foot house in Belle Meade area of Nashville.  The former senator and former presidential candidate has been a leading voice for the environment and energy conservation.  His global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar for Best Documentary for 2006.  In the film he urges consumers to conserve energy by reducing the amount of electricity used at home.

Using figures from the Nashville Electric service, the report says that Gore’s house used 221,000 221,000 kWh of electricity in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kWh.  The report says the gas usage of Gore’s home is high as well and that Gore spent more than $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills in 2006.

An article in Cowboys And Indians magazine focused on the 4,000 square foot Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas.  It paints an entirely different picture than that of the Gore mansion..  George Bush is described as saying that when he bought the property, he wanted something in middle America so he could “stay in touch with real Americans.”  Architect David Heyman was asked to design the single story home.  Bush said he wanted everything on the ranch to blend with the environment.  The passive-solar house is built of honey-colored native limestone and positioned to absorb winter sunlight, warming the interior walkways and walls of the 4,000-square-foot residence. Geothermal heat pumps circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground. These waters pass through a heat exchange system that keeps the home warm in winter and cool in summer,” according to the article.  “A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around the four-bedroom home. Laura Bush insisted on the use of indigenous grasses, shrubs, and flowers to complete the exterior treatment of the home..”

Updated 4/3/07

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:


 HOUSE # 1:
 A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas.
 Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated
 by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the
 average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for
 electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural
 gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property
 consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home.
 This house is not in a northern or Midwestern “snow belt,” either. It’s
 in the South.

 HOUSE # 2:
 Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university,
 this house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction
 can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and
 is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central
 closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water
 through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67
 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The
 system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes
 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling
 system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000
 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets
 goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The
 collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers
 and shrubs native to the are! a blend the property into the surrounding
 rural landscape.

 HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of
 Nashville,Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist
 (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

 HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford,
 Texas. Also known as “the Texas White House,” it is the private
 residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.