Larry Hagman’s career has spanned decades. He’s starred in countless television shows and movies, but he’s probably best known for two roles: The ruthless oil baron, J.R. Ewing from Dallas; and Major Nelson from I Dream of Jeanie.
You probably wouldn’t expect a former television oil baron to be an advocate for the environment, and user of clean, environmentally friendly energy, but Larry Hagman is nearly completely off the electricity grid. His electricity bill was a mere $13 for all of last year—that’s about $1.08 a month to power a 10,000 square foot home.
Hagman is generating so much alternative energy that he decided to run lines from his solar power sources to five low income homes near his ranch, all of which are now completely powered by his solar energy. In addition to his solar efforts, Hagman has recently installed wind turbines, drives a Toyota Prius Hybrid and an electric Dodge Gem.
This year the 75-year-old actor started a campaign, refundsforgood.org, directing people how to claim telephone tax refunds and turn that money over to environmental funds like the Solar Electric Light Fund, which helps developing nations build solar energy infrastructures.
“I thought the campaign was a good idea,” Hagman told The Associated Press before a press conference. “Hopefully it will help people find a way to help the planet. We’ve got problems.”
What did Hagman spend to make his house go green? About $20,000—which will pay for itself in about 5 years based on normal electricity bills for a home the size of his. More importantly, the benefits of living green are forever lasting when it comes to the environment.
All of us can learn something from Larry Hagman—it’s time to change the way we use and generate energy. If each American replaced just one light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, as a nation we would save nearly $300 billion in energy costs over the life the bulb—the average American home has 45 light bulbs.