NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Following criticism by a conservative group of Al Gore's large home energy consumption, a Gore spokeswoman defended the former vice president's lifestyle, saying he invests in enough renewable energy to make up for the home's power consumption.
On Sunday, Gore's documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicled his campaign against global warming, won an Academy Award.
The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research issued a statement saying Gore was not doing enough to reduce his own electricity consumption, and hence emissions of carbon dioxide. The group disputes that global warming is a serious problem.
"We wanted to see if he was living by his own recommendations and walking the walk," said think tank president Drew Johnson.
Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home.
The Gores used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press. The typical Nashville household uses about 15,600 kilowatt-hours per year.
The group said that Gore used nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours last year and that his average monthly electric bill was $1,359. Johnson said his group got its figures from Nashville Electric Service.
But company spokeswoman Laurie Parker said the utility never got a request from the policy center and never gave it any information.
Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said that "sometimes when people don't like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it's convenient to attack the messenger."
Kreider said Gore purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity costs.
Gore, who also owns a home in the Washington area, has said he leads a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." To balance out other carbon emissions, the Gores invest money in projects to reduce energy consumption, Kreider said.
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