I was thinking about resilience in my blog last time and now I want to get you to reflect on energy and resilience in your business for a moment. Checking levels we’ll call it for now...
We’ve seen enough energy reflected in the Olympics this month - but I mean the energy you need to do business – human capital energy and utility provided energy to power your hardware. I promise that’s the only reference to the O word in the blog this month, by the way.
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been talking about why energy efficiency matters- to Save the Internet!
Now… what can you do about becoming more energy efficient? In the next few weeks, Smartcool will be publishing a number of helpful handouts on energy efficiency measures for specific types of buildings.
Before we get into those details, here are some areas you can start attacking your energy bill:
Heating & Air Conditioning = 56% of residential electricity, 44% of commercial electricity
In my last post, I talked about the harm caused by generating electricity to feed the internet (and all our other electrical needs). Today I’m going to look at what happens when we use so much energy that our utilities no longer have the capacity to meet the demand. Think darkness. And empty wallets.
A lack of energy efficiency can mean that the existing electrical grid does not have the capacity to deliver enough energy to everyone who wants it. Demand outweighs supply.
Last time I talked about why energy matters (obviously for the internet). Today I’ll look at one half of the energy efficiency incentive package… or why we should care about saving energy (as if preserving talking cat videos was not enough of a reason).
Electricity is the cheapest form of power in most places. Why should I care about how much electricity I use for all my googling and facebooking needs, when getting the internet piped into my home costs just $20/month (in Vancouver, Canada).
Energy efficiency seems like a hassle. There is too much information out there to wade through in order to spend money on things that won’t really make a difference to my utility bill… and my bill isn’t even a big deal. Right?
Can you imagine life without the internet? I can, but only because I'm "of a certain age" and grew up before the internet became the incredible, almost omnipresent being that it is today. Kids these days (I just jumped from "a certain age" to "90") cannot conceive of a time when information and endless procrastination were not constantly available online. I remember perfectly well how lucky I felt to have a dial up modem at home- and yet now I would pitch a fit if I couldn't get online within a nanosecond. I've started to set timers on social conversations to see how far we can get before someone needs to google for backup (the average is under 10 minutes and much, much less if we are talking sports or song lyrics).
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.
Back in 2006, the European Union realized that they were facing some serious energy challenges. These challenges were due to an increase in import dependency, global fossil fuel supplies, a “…clearly discernable climate change”, and a substantial waste of 20% of its energy due to inefficiencies.
Say what now? “A substantial waste of 20% of its energy due to inefficiencies”? Oh. Ok, we’ll be revisiting that shortly…
Superpowers. Sometimes they get used for good, sometimes they get used for evil. I’m partial to the ‘using-them-for-good’ angle, as most people are. However, being totally honest, if I could see into the future, I would absolutely write down the winning lottery numbers and take that jackpot home! Don’t lie – you’d do it too…right…? I won’t be holding my breath for that to happen though, as that type of superpower doesn’t tend to exist outside of whatever superhero blockbuster is in the theatres at the moment. It’s July – Will Smith should be releasing something in 3…2…1.
However, in terms of big business, there does exist a fair amount – ok, a LARGE amount – of real-world superpowers. These powers can be used for evil – (see: swindling people’s life savings for your own profit) – and can cause a devastating ripple effect which impacts peoples’ lives in heart breaking ways. We’ve almost become accustomed to turning on the news and hearing about yet another big business with less than satisfactory regard for how it deploys its superpowers. So, it’s always a pleasure to see big, powerful companies using their superpowers for good - especially when those companies are in sectors typically seen as less than environmentally friendly. Let’s give a couple of those a shout out, shall we?
Smartcool’s head office is located in Vancouver, Canada. While that may be a random factoid for the majority of the world, for us it means that our office is all a flutter with furrowed brows, butterflies in tummies, and a serious case of nausea-inducing nerves. Why, you ask? Because Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight. The Vancouver Canucks are in it. And it’s a home game. The tension in the city is palpable and, to be honest, completely overwhelming!
We’ve never won the Cup before. And we’d do just about anything for it. So, there’s that.