Despite its financial and environmental benefits, energy efficiency has long been a controversial subject among American politicians. While Democrats have supported research into and implementation of sustainability, Republicans have typically opposed this, citing governmental investment into renewable energy as an act of intervention in the free market. The Tea Party, the ultra-conservative movement that came to prominence in 2010, maintains this position. Despite the group's previous stance, right-wing Tea Party activists have joined with environmentalists in a new partnership called the Green Tea Coalition to encourage energy efficient living in Georgia.
Earth Techling, a news outlet that focuses on green living, reports that "grassroots pressure" from the Green Tea Coalition has convinced Georgia's state utility company to add 525 megawatts of solar power by 2016. While the Tea Party has opposed renewable energy sources in the past, supporters reportedly do not see a contradiction in policies, as this move is intended to both give consumers more options in power choices as well as help break up the monopoly that utility companies hold over state energy production – in line with the Tea Party's general ideals of supporting the free market.
"The success of the Green Tea Coalition proves that despite a partisan divide in the halls of Congress, activists working on-the-ground can see past party labels and work together in the service of ratepayer interests, community health and a safe environment," said the coalition's co-founder, Debbie Dooley, in an official statement. "Embracing renewables is smart energy policy that transcends political party lines."
Homeowners in Washington D.C. are encouraged to meet with DC home inspectors to have their own energy needs assessed. These contractors can determine how green your home is and what steps can be taken to both improve efficiency and reduce long-term utility bills.