Ladies and Gentlemen of the Austin Energy Conservation and Disclosure Ordinance (ECAD) Task Force,
I recently learned of the unanimous recommendation the ECAD Task Force offered to mandate an energy audit and disclosure for all Austin single-family homes at the point of sale. The Task Force was convened to "reduce peak demand and decrease the need for new power plants" as one of its stated objectives.
Unfortunately, the Task Force didn't measure the amount of electricity an Austin single-family household uses. For example, if my home were a manufactured home without a permanent foundation, I could use 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month and elude the ECAD audit. If my home were newer than 10 years old, I could use 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month and elude the ECAD audit. If I lived in a condominium, I could use 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month and elude the ECAD audit.
But I live in an older home (our Austin home was built in 1982) and I use an average of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhx0Xax3Jjc kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, and guess what? I get to fork out money for an energy audit! Isn't that fantastic? Since the task force thought it was a wonderful idea to mandate an audit for single-family homeowners and criminalize non-compliance with a Class C misdemeanor, I have a wonderful idea of my own.
Because the task force has decided to tell me how to spend my time and capital to meet their mandatory audit, I'd like to tell energy auditors in Austin how to spend their time and capital. I'd like an energy auditor to audit my home, free of charge.
My wife and I own our modest, 1500 square foot Austin home. The amount of electricity we purchase and consume in our home from Austin Energy is none of your business. I see where this velvet-gloved statism is heading. Some Task Force participants wish to mandate the correction of any deficiencies found during the ECAD audit. Luckily that provision was voted down, but it may be adopted when this liberty-violating ordinance is revisited in less than two years.
To add insult to injury, as an Austin homeowner I can't take my electricity "business" to a competing utility. I'm held captive as an indentured consumer of Austin Energy, -Austin's very own energy monopoly. How can you criminalize my failure to purchase an audit of MY PRIVATE PROPERTY as a homeowner with a Class C misdemeanor?
4014 JAFFNA CV
Austin, TX 78749