Smart Energy Conservation

Energy efficient and sustainable companies display a sense of organizational effectiveness that allows them to make good use of the energy conservation technology, suggests Ian Jarvis of Enerlife Consulting in a recent Financial Post article.  Saving energy is linked to increased comfort and productivity, which in turn gives people more of a sense of control over their environment.

cc: Manitoba Hydro Place
cc: Manitoba Hydro Place

Europeans have been constructing smart buildings and using energy audits in design for years.  Similar smart buildings are now starting to be built in North America.  Winnipeg’s Manitoba Hydro Place is a leading example of an intelligent building, with onsite weather stations and a digital management system that adjusts outside temperature-controlled vents every 3 hours.

For smart buildings to achieve successful energy conservation, the people in the buildings have to think about what’s happening around them and how they impact their environment.  To be truly sustainable, they need to have a realistic sense of how they are using energy.  However, a recent study found that many people believe they can save energy with small, ineffective behavior changes, and underestimate the major effects of switching to efficient, currently available technologies.

turn off lightsToo many people are just trying to save energy by doing what is cheap and easy, suggests the survey.  Energy conservation advocates have tended to encourage actions like turning off lights to save energy, rather than focusing on the biggest energy savers including higher-mileage vehicles and installing room rather than central air conditioning.

Part of the problem is lack of awareness of the big energy savers.  Luckily, giving people better information about energy conservation will make up for the current psychology and will lead to people making better decisions about using energy.  Have a look at the “Savings from green measures” graph in the Economist that is from the study.

Just by becoming more efficient in their households and vehicles, people can substantially decline their energy consumption within the decade.

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