We were live online yesterday as our CEO, George Burnes, was interviewed by The Organic View. If you didn’t catch it, or don’t have time to listen to the recording online, here’s a snapshot of some of the most interesting points covered by the show.
Energy efficiency is something we can no longer ignore, due to soaring energy prices and global climate change. Energy efficiency offers a clear path away from these converging forces. Becoming more energy efficient does not mean reducing the quality of products or services using energy, but rather becoming more intelligent in how energy is used.
Not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s summer here in Vancouver. By “summer”, I mean ‘it’s-been-mostly-terrible-weather-but-after-two-months-of-rain-and-cloud-we’re-finally-seeing-the-sun’. We’re not bitter…I swear. Ok, that’s a lie. We’re totally bitter about it. But, it’s out of our control, West-Coasters, so get out and enjoy the sun while it deigns to show its face! The bitterness comes from watching summer happen all over the rest of our continent. They have been experiencing some very warm (ok, very HOT) weather. However, while we West-Coasters may have want for a little more heat, we also know that a lot more heat can indeed be dangerous. Safety first, people.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Remember that movie? I can never resist a good ‘80s movie, and to have Steve Martin and John Candy in on the hilarity? I mean, come on. That’s straight up comedy gold.
I do have doubts, though, that Steve and John were all that concerned with the energy efficiency of their various modes of transport. I think they were more concerned with getting home for Thanksgiving than they were with carbon emissions in the atmosphere. It’s a shame really – that movie could have been the figurative poster child for how not to travel efficiently. There’s a lesson there, people. A solid lesson.
One of my least favourite things to do is to go grocery shopping. I’m usually there at the worst times (right after work, along with the rest of the population of Vancouver), I usually forget my list (and subsequently all the items of which I’m most in need), and I almost always end up in line behind someone who’s paying for their bill in nickels, dimes and pennies (or, you know, I’m that person). Some people love it, some people don’t. I definitely fall into the latter category. But, while I do not enjoy grocery shopping, I do enjoy food and therefore find myself at the grocery store at regular intervals.
What has never crossed my mind until quite recently however, was how much energy these supermarkets use to power their refrigeration systems. There are a lot of coolers and freezers in supermarkets and a lot of them are open to the air, which means they are running constantly and using up a significant amount of electricity.
Some of you may be wondering about the hummingbird on a site about energy efficiency for buildings, so let me explain. First, hummingbirds are pretty amazing, what with their crazy migratory paths and their feistiness around the feeder. Second and more specifically, hummingbirds use such an incredible amount of energy while being amazing and flying backwards and dive bombing people sunbathing near the bird feeder and doing all those other hummingbird-y things, that they need to eat more than their own weight in food every day.
Consider your building, wherever and whatever it may be. House, data center, office tower, supermarket, restaurant… does not matter. Every building around the world has dozens of ‘emloyees’, otherwise known as appliances and systems. These various ’employees’ in each building, from the the data center air conditioner to the restaurant walk-in cooler, all perform specific tasks within their area of responsibility.
I had gruel for breakfast this morning. At least that's what it looked like, but technically it was a bowl of steel-cut oats with raisins and pumpkin seeds added in for a bit of flair. I could really taste the health oozing out of it and I hated every minute of it. The only good part of this appalling meal was that it was homemade and pretty low on the energy-intensity scale.
Whenever I prepare myself for a day of surfing the net, I can't help but imagine what is happening in the world to make this possible. As I brew my coffee and make my breakfast, thousands of servers in thousands of data centers are quietly plugging away to ensure that the internet continues to be accessible 24/7/365.
A few weeks ago, one of our readers commented on the incredible waste of energy caused by so many buildings being over air-conditioned. This is something I’m sure everyone has experienced – stepping in from a beautiful, sunny, hot day into a glacial building where a parka is necessary to be comfortable.
Earlier this week, I looked at why on earth people keep buildings frigidly cold by over air conditioning them. Apart from discomfort for many, what is the real problem with taking full advantage of this amazing modern convenience? Some of the problems were touched on in the last post, but we’ll expand the list here.
People can lose focus and productivity in a colder office.