Get Smart about Energy™

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If we eliminated the energy being WASTED right now, the annual savings would be more than $6.67 billion dollars. The only essential requirement to eliminating this waste is for each person to change their attitude to energy. Technology will help, but saving must start with a personal commitment to make change, spending the time to learn how, and then doing it!

I do not know why you are reading this article, but whatever it is; global warming, electricity costs, resource stewardship, casual interest or just chance, welcome and I hope our thoughts will stimulate your thinking and persuade you to think seriously about your attitude to energy.

Clean Energy FutureObama announces $3.4B for 'smart' power grid - Associated Press Oct 27 2009
"Arcadia, Fla. – President Barack Obama made a pitch for renewable energy Tuesday, announcing $3.4 billion in government support for 100 projects aimed at modernizing the nation's power grid....... will be matched by $4.7 billion in private investments."

What really caught my eye was the 1.8 million allocated for the installation of smart meters. "To help home owners monitor their home energy consumption" it said.

We live in a time where threat and reward is an unavoidable part of daily living. You need only watch the television for a few moments to see the level of threat and promise being pushed at us each day. If you have this you will get (fill in bank) this - or - if you do not have that you will not get (fill in blank) that!

The endevours persuading us to save energy follow the same pattern. Save energy to eliminate global warming; save energy to reduce our carbon footprint; save energy and pocket "loads" of money. And although there is some truth to each of these claims, they are not persuasive. We like more cash, we may reflect on carbon footprint, but right now we live in a time of terrorism, lost savings, expensive health care and unemployment!

The only way I believe we will "DO energy saving" will be through a shift in our attitude to energy - definition; manner, disposition, feeling, with regard to energy, especially of the mind - resulting in an internal conviction to behave differently!

Energy Waste
I do not wish to wrongly accuse anyone of being an energy bug. Better if you take a moment and reflect on your own energy use this week. Try to be objectively honest, you are welcome to contact us and check you thoughts.

I am sure you will think of at least one "could do better" - I hope so! I know from personal experience that no-one will "see" the issue underlying energy waste, until they personalize an area of energy waste in their own lives.

Try and ask yourself why this waste happened - why did you not save the energy in question?

I have heard many explanations; I left the light on and wasted energy because I forgot/was distracted/do not care to turn it off. We are still using a regular light bulb and not energy saving CFL's because we have not had the time/money/motivation to replace them. I do not save energy because I pay for it and can use my money as I wish. I do not save energy because I have more important things to spend my time on. I do not know much about saving energy because I did not have the time/inclination/motivation to do the research/learning.

I believe that the real cause of energy waste is selfishness. Someone else, probably in a future generation, is going to "pay" for the resource I wasted today!

Awareness
We hope that participating in a discussion on this site will help educate you on the many ways to save energy, and through this you will increase your energy awareness. There is no cost to you.

If you read up on one of our Smart ways to Save Electricity you will be the benificiary. If you write up your experience, both you and the people who reads it will be the richer.

Monitoring
If you have a Smart Meter we do encourage you to use the web site your utility provides to look a the hourly analysis of electrivity use that this technology provides. "Studies show that being able to see your electricity usage in near real time, throughout the day, makes it easier to reduce it and save money" by Google PowerMeter

I strongly recommend this excellent case study by Five Percent

Note: Saving energy is only achieved when you do something different. It may be to go without, e.g. a shorter shower. It may be to do it differently, e.g. replace bulb with a CFL. It may be automatically enabled, e.g. a smart strip. It may be human intelligence enabled, e.g. unplug the offending item. It may be a replacement device, e.g. a new laptop. But whatever "it"is - there needs to be a real "do it"

Conclusion
My wife and I save a little energy each day. We live in a small apartment which means that our opportunities are limited. We have reduced our bill from $50.00 per month at its peak to under $30.00 per month.

We really enjoy spending the $20.00 each month - on doing something for us!

It does take an effort to "always" remember to turn out "every" light, and there have been few days where we did not slip in some way. It takes considerable effort to learn about new ways to be more energy efficient; lighting, heat, washing up, laundry, cooking, home office, etc.

Each time I catch myself "not bothering" I remind myself that energy saving is also a way for me to 'spot check' my state of mind - how selfless am I right now!

 

Note 1: In 2007 there were 111,162,000 households in the United States. If each household saved 10% (a conservative estimate) the annual savings would amount to $6,669 billion dollars.

Note 2: In California we are seeing some early change motivated by the tiered energy price model of PG&E. The level 5 rate is $0.44098 Kwh. It is applied to all energy consumed above 300% of the BaseLine 8.3 KWh per day. Each 100 Watt bulb, used 40 hours per week, costs $63.50 more than an equivalent CFL per year.

Note 3: As we succeed in changing how we create energy, from "finite natural resources (oil, gas, coal) to "renewable sources" (wind, wave, solar) the nature of our moral argument will change. But whatever we decide the "cost" of waste is - the root cause will not change - it will always be our selfish nature!

 

Open4Energy - Get Smart about Energy™