I am finally completely off the gas pipe in my home!
A few weeks ago, my hot water heater went out. It was the last appliance in my home that used gas. I have replaced it with an electric water heater. I wanted to use solar but, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to figure all that out.
We had to take cold showers and heat water to wash dishes for about a week while I contracted for wiring and installation, but now I have no part in the creation of fracking sacrifice zones.
The industry can’t seem to grasp the fact that, although homes in my area use gas for heating, I have made a different choice. Attorneys at my deposition barked questions about how I heat my home. They did not believe that I am on the grid but use 100% wind energy. On Twitter, trolls have tweeted personal information and my address because they can’t imagine life without gas–I must be lying. So, okay fellas, here is how it works:
When I moved here I contracted for 100% wind generated energy from: TXU Energy Texas Choice 12 with 100% WindSM
TXU requires a one-year commitment so they will know how much wind energy will be needed and there is an early cancellation fee of $100. What I pay depends on average usage that month. For 500 kWh, I would pay 12.6 cents. For 1000 kWh I would pay 11.4 cents. For 2000 kWh I would pay 10.9 cents. I get a 3% cash back that I can use to pay my bill.
From the TXU website:
If you want to help the environment without giving up comfort or convenience, get cash back, and have the security of price protection, then sign up on this plan. You can:
- Help the environment because all of the energy purchased for your plan comes from Texas wind power.
- Secure guaranteed price protection against rising power generation costs for one year.*
- Earn a 3% cash back loyalty reward on your annual electricity purchases.**
- Enjoy a simple, fixed rate for energy that doesn’t change with the seasons.
The most important thing to me is that my energy consumption did not cause a child to wake in the night covered in blood. It caused no one a rash or leukemia or diminished their property value.
Instead of using gas heating, I bought an EPA approved low emissions wood burning stove. It has a combustion device that burns off the emissions and it’s fun. I heated my home last winder for about $200 in wood and I have wood left over. There were a few very cold nights when I used an electric–100% wind–heater in my bathroom.
My oven and range are electric.
If you don’t want to participate in creating fracking sacrifice zones where your neighbors suffer, it’s easier than you think to say goodbye to that dirty boy natural gas.
Next step is a more environmentally friendly transportation plan. We have no mass transit in Allen but I can drive to Plano and take the Dallas Metro. I have found a bicycle with lots of big baskets. My car, a Honda Fit gets about 38 mpg on highway. I would like an electric to plug into my wind energy but I’m concerned about the rare earth minerals used for batteries. Too bad the fracking mafia killed the electric car years ago. Think where we might me now…
It’s a process but I’m getting there. You can get there too. Someone said this: Start. Keep going.
PS: I really wanted solar panels for my roof. Did you know that in Texas the fracking mafia can get a permit to drill in SEVEN days while it is a SIX-MONTH process to get a solar permit?
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Pat Hansard says
Congratulations! I wondered if it was possible. Is it more expensive and how much more? Perhaps we can save ourselves after all. Great news, Sharon!
You are my hero! I was grateful to finally learn that the only natural gas in our home was the fire place and the unit used to heat an exterior building. I will never use either of these appliances and we will replace them as soon as we can afford it. Even before I had an encounter with “natural” gas, I never like gas fire places. The thought of mountain top removal a few states away to power my electricity bothers me greatly. I do wish that we had the opportunity to choose wind powered electric where we live. I hope the option is coming soon to other Texas Counties. I think they would be surprised by the number of people that would choose renewable.
Thank you Sharon
Karla Fisk says
Phil (@PhilipTSimpson) and I are off the gas pipe at our place in the Catskills and are doing our best to get solar panels there.
But getting off the gas pipe in NYC is trickier since we’re currently renting and a nat gas stove comes with the place. Luckily, it’s right next to a window (to vent the fumes), and we do our best to only use electric appliances, so we’re rarely using it.
(A tip for anyone cooking pasta who wants to save energy: bring the pasta to a boil again after adding, then put a lid on the pot and turn it down to “Low”. Cooks just as fast, with much less energy.)
Tim Ruggiero says
What wonderful news. I am proud of you, Sharon. The off the fracking shale home we moved into is all electric-although it does have one of those 500 gallon propane tanks attached to the house that apparently only feeds the fireplace, which we never use.
Based on the information you provided, I will be signing up for wind generated electric myself. Even if it costs a little more, and even if there was no rebate, it’s the right thing to do. in doing so, this is one small part by one individual that demonstrates that there actually is renewable energy sources available. Yes, Aubrey, we CAN do without your dirty gas.
When I flip on a light, I can do so without having to wonder who sacrificed their home or their health in the process.
So do your lights go off when the wind is not blowing? If not where does that electricity come from? Batteries?
No, my lights do not go off. The electricity comes from windfarms of which there are several so the wind is always blowing somewhere.