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Jonathan Scott’s Solar Movie: Frustrated with Warren Buffett, Property Brothers star decided to act

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Renovate the future could be an apt title for “Power Trip”

Perhaps a reality TV star is not the first place or person one would think of when considering the next cutting edge filmmaker to take on the corruption and controversies surrounding the potential transition to sustainable energy.

However, as someone who, on his show, is seen as an expert in home renovation, particularly high end homes, a solar-roof and energy installation is becoming standard and so it is natural that Johnathan Scott, Co-Host of the series of “Property Brothers” shows and associated products would have been exposed to the ins and outs of installing solar panels.

More surprising, however, is the way his experiences took him on a journey of discovery that led to him creating a serious and hard-hitting documentary film on the challenges and even the politics surrounding the solar industry. His eye-opening discoveries mirror his experiences and, by extension, give viewers of the film an opportunity to see this controversial state of affairs through his sympathetic eyes.

Read more: Dancing to Save the World: Elon Musk’s Infectious Joy is the Real Deal

FROM PBS.ORG:

In “Power Trip”, Property Brothers co-host and home-renovation expert Jonathan Scott journeys all across the U.S. to uncover why clean, renewable energy isn’t available to all. While traveling to learn both the obstacles and opportunities for achieving energy freedom, Jonathan talks with conservatives fighting for solar freedom; sits down with farmers struggling to make ends meet; engages coal workers desperate for a new, healthy means of making an income; the Navajo Nation who built a utility-scale solar plant; religious leaders who made a desperate attempt to help meet their community’s energy needs; and politicians at the forefront of the battle for energy freedom. 

Shortly after they finally approved us, they killed net metering in Nevada. And all of us a sudden, solar companies left the state, and my head sort of spun, and I was like, “What the hell is going on here?” And that’s when I started digging in. I hired a researcher. And we discovered this secret war being waged against rooftop solar.

Johnathan Scott on his INSPIRATION FOR MAKING “Power Trip”

Above: Trailer for Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip

While the film may not be from a major name in the sustainable energy or climate crisis movements, for that very reason, one could say it has potentially enhanced credibility or at least a more approachable back-story with an experienced TV host known to many for his more traditional fare.

Read more: ‘This Changes Everything’

  • JONATHAN SCOTT’S POWER TRIP
    • Premiered November 16, 2020
    • Took 3 and a half years to produce
    • story about corruption that he fell into when trying to solar his roof in NV 
    • Best known for his HGTV reality show “Property Brothers”, where Jonathan and his brother Brew purchase and renovate houses on a budget. 

“The film explores how utility companies across the country have fought to maintain their monopolies, focusing on power players including Buffett’s NV Energy, Duke Energy in North Carolina and Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power.”

PBS

More quotes from Jonathan Scott:

“It turned into a human story. I traveled around the country. I met with hundreds of people from all different walks of life. And I discovered that across the board, whether they are Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, city dwellers, country dwellers — everybody agreed that renewable energy was a good thing. They liked the idea of being able to produce their own power. The only people I found that were against it were people affiliated with fossil-fuel companies or the utilities.”

“We need some sort of national energy policy that will not only bring that cost down and simplify the process, but also promote what is the future of energy. When I started the film, there were 20 coal-fired power plants slated to be built in the U.S. By the end, all of those projects were either abandoned or shut down. And that’s a good thing. We are moving in the right direction.”

“But solar is still being met with opposition. The new trend is that a lot of utilities are saying, “We’re pro-solar, we’re pro-renewable energy.” They support utility-scale solar farms, but they’re anti-rooftop solar because they want to own the power.”

“I was a big fan of Warren and all the stuff he’s done. Then I saw him talking about how net metering is a subsidy. Either he was severely misinformed by the people who work for him who run NV Energy, or he was lying through his teeth. Warren is an intelligent guy, and I don’t think he would ignorantly run a company of that magnitude without knowing what’s happening.”


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