Can this high-power couple become more energy-efficient?

Can this high-power couple become more energy-efficient?
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Talk about a green party.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) is putting his energy efficient light bulbs where his mouth is, battling his constituents in a yearlong energy-saving competition that aims to reduce electricity throughout his district.

The “Reduce the Use” contest begins on Aug. 1, and is open to any Con Edison customer and resident of Lander’s 39th District — Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Borough Park.

From the looks of things inside his three-story Park Slope rowhouse, Lander and wife Meg Barnette have their work cut out for them.

“We’re not the most energy-efficient household,” Lander conceded, pointing to an iPad, three cellphones, a 40-inch flat-screen television, a video game console, computers, and other energy vampires — including central air conditioning — that handed him a $128.41 Con Ed bill last month.

Electron guzzlers like Lander are part of the reason — plus a little blame to Mother Nature — that the energy utility cut Brooklyn’s power at least four times during a four-day heat wave that began on July 4. Demand for power is only increasing, thanks to ever more attractive gizmos, but Lander said he’s making headway toward energy efficiency.

“We’ve already replaced all the non-specialty light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs,” he offered, adding that he planned to be vigilant about shutting lights, and unplugging battery chargers once a device is fully juiced.

“This will be good for households to save money, for the city so there are fewer brownouts and blackouts, and for the environment, because we will reduce our carbon footprint. And there are prizes!” he continued.

The competition is sponsored by Con Ed and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Lander’s office, so he is not eligible for any of the yet-to-be announced prizes. Winners will be announced in two categories: greatest overall energy reduction, and lowest overall energy bill.

The district-wide challenge was inspired by a similar initiative hatched by the group Sustainable Kensington/Windsor Terrace last year. Forty families took part in an energy-reduction challenge, saving $600 in lower bills.

The competition will kick-off event at the Old Stone House [Fifth Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets in Park Slope, (718) 768-3195] on Aug. 1 at 2 pm. Non-competitors will be able to sign-up at the event. Or you can pre-register at this link.