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Environment

Studio City Woman Says Neighbor's Energy-Efficient Windows Are Melting Her Prius

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Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 9:45 AM

click to enlarge The dark side of green living. - CBS LA
  • CBS LA
  • The dark side of green living.
Thank you, CBS LA, for getting to the bottom of this one.

Never has the brave new world of eco-friendly consumerism reached a conundrum so ridiculous:

Heather Patron, a resident of notoriously crunchy Studio City, tells the station that her Prius is melting in the scorching-hot sunbeams that bounce off her neighbor's energy-efficient windows. So CBS investigators whip out their trusty thermometers...

... and stick them directly in "the pathway of the beam on a partially cloudy day." The reading? A scandalous 120 degrees.

Patron says all the plastic parts on her Prius have slowly been melted by the glare off the condo next to her carport.

"I'm positive that this window is what is causing the damage to my car," Patron tells reporters. "I just don't feel like it's fair." However, it doesn't appear that Patron has actually informed her neighbor of the problem -- because this is L.A., where neighbors are so passive-aggressive that they'll vent to the local news station before they'll go knocking on any doors. (Plus, energy-efficient windows melting one's Prius is kind of an embarrassingly #whitepersonproblem.)

Patron's case may be the most amusing of its kind -- the Disney Hall, or Vegas hotel, of Studio City! -- but she's not alone. There've been many reports nationwide of such "Low-E" windows melting off the sides of neighboring houses. Some cool graphs and stuff:

Entrepreneurial side notion: Perhaps the heat reflected off these windows could be put to more, er, efficient use if we harbored it for energy, somehow? Kind of like a solar panel? Or we could just complain about it some more. That works.

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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