This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

We can stop building new power plants today. Energy is free and renewable from the sun, wind and waves, but an even easier and more cost-efficient fix is simple conservation and efficiency. Buildings use half the energy in the United States, but by remodeling old buildings we can save 40 to 50 percent on average. Add consumer education, and you can cut the remaining energy use in half again. Add renewable energy for hot water and electricity, and every building can be a net-zero energy generator. This is simple to implement. State laws are already taking us there.

Michael Russell submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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