Iowa’s governor this week urged the federal government to help poor Iowans pay their heating bills this winter, and he also urged Iowans to take measures themselves to conserve energy. Governor Tom Vilsack revealed he and his wife have taken steps in their own Mt. Pleasant home to use less energy. The Vilsacks have replaced the furnace in their home, which was built in 1900. “I can tell you that replacing the furnace does work. It really makes a big difference,” Vilsack says. The Vilsacks have nudged their thermostat up a couple of degrees in the summer months to save on their air conditioning, and down a few degrees now, in the fall and winter, to save on their heating. Vilsack spends most of his time as governor, though, in the state-owned governor’s mansion in Des Moines. Terrace Hill is a three-story Victorian that has undergone extensive renovations since the state obtained it in the 1970s. Vilsack says a commission makes many of the decisions about the home’s operation, since it’s first and second floors are a museum, open to the public. Until this recent cold snap, the thermostat kept the temperature in the third floor living quarters at 76 degrees when the Vilsacks were home.”We have replaced the thermostats and they’re now programmed thermostats which Christie and I do not control,” Vilsack says. “And I don’t know who controls it.” Now, the thermostat is set much lower. The heating system, which uses steam, has been updated in the mansion. Vilsack’s office is in the statehouse, another historic building with antiquated “environmental controls” with the result that some rooms are quite hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
You are here: / / Governor says he’s taken conservation measures