Update: Listen to the second podcast in this series on putting a price on carbon.

Sightline’s Cascadia Scorecard energy indicator reveals that our region is lagging most in the area of energy use. In this six-minute podcast, Sightline Research Director Clark Williams-Derry explains how tools we already have–like caulk guns, efficient cars, and high-efficiency furnaces–may be the technological “silver bullet” for reducing our energy consumption.

Clark Williams-DerryDownload the podcast (five-minute mp3)

Special thanks to Bruce Bulloch for graciously donating his time and ideas to make the podcast.

Podcast excerpts:

On a technological revolution:

  • “A lot of people are looking for the next “green iPod”—the shiny new technology that’s going to make our lives completely efficient. I think people shouldn’t wait; I think that’s a trap. The next “green iPod” is probably a caulk gun—those kinds of things are so cheap. It’s free money lying around waiting for us to pick it up.”

On transportation:

  • “We have cars that get 40 to 45 miles per gallon right now. We don’t have to wait for the car that gets 100 miles per gallon before we make our next efficient purchase. If the alternative is an SUV that gets under 20, the jump from 20 to 40 is huge.”

On financing efficiency:

  • “Right now there’s a model being used in Berkeley, California that allows people to make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes and finance it on their tax bills. People borrow the money up front and pay it off over the long-haul on their tax bills. The City of Berkeley is doing the borrowing—they can get it at better rates, it doesn’t affect peoples’ credit history. All it means is that people pay a little more for taxes every month, and a lot less on their utilities every month.”

See also:

March 16, 2009