Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nice to hear of someone trying it...

This is a Guest post from Ilise Samolyk following up on some of the work her sister has been doing. Pretty cool to hear about a larger institution implementing energy efficiency measures. Now if we could only get a few more to do it!
I believe our energy concerns didn't just go away because gas prices are down.  The current price at the pump hasn't changed anything, eventually prices will go back up.   I'm hopeful that our focus on alternative energy sources and conservation won't fade away with the lower gas prices.  I know that the tough economy has kept many of us focused on conservation measures.
 
Many of my friends are switching to compact florescent lights (CFL) and taking other conservation measures.  Some have gone as far as measuring the energy draw on various devices and using that information to determine where to install timers or simply unplug the device.  We've installed CFL's and unplugged our extra computers.   Every little bit helps and at least one family has cut their energy bill by $100 a month. 
 
It's also encouraging to see institutions apply these measures.  In fact my sister, Dr. Jill Landesberg-Boyle put simple conservation measures at FKCC, which is now yielding a savings of $100K a year.  She started the effort through a communication to all employees asking for their help in conservation measures, turn out the lights, turn off computers, etc..   The maintenance team incorporated an energy check into their rounds, timers were incorporated on public TV's, and lighting sensors were installed.  
 
Some conservation measures require more up front investment, even switching from incandescent light to florescent light can be expensive.  If you want to upgrade your appliances' that is a larger investment.  The same holds true for institutions, so Dr. Jill Landesberg-Boyle actively sought to upgrade to more energy efficient options as the opportunity and budget allowed.  This included upgrading to more efficient lighting and new energy efficient equipment.  Landscape improvements incorporated shade planning and new building plans were required to be energy efficient.
 
Any money saved is found money, we all could use that!