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Common Mistakes People Make To Improve Energy Efficiency

August 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Closing Your Bedroom DoorsSummers can be hot and winters can be cold. We cannot control the weather outside, but indoors, we can maintain a constant temperature. Your A/C or furnace unit, while extremely handy, can take a big chunk out of your pocket if left on. In an attempt to save money and energy, here are some common misconceptions that people still make today.

Closing Your Bedroom Doors

By closing your bedroom doors, you can limit the amount of air movement required to heat or cool down a room. This makes sense at first, but when you break it down air will remain trapped and continue to build up pressure. This will force the air to escape and attract more air to replace the amount lost. Expect to see a 200% increase in air drawn and a definite increase in your utility bills.

Will Closing My Heat Vents Save Energy?

The answer is no. One common misconception is that closing your heat vents will reduce your usage of energy. This is actually the opposite and can potentially harm your furnace. When you close your heat vents, pressure is built up and forced into spaces where you don’t even need it at. You’re still paying for your energy, but it’s drawn to places that you can’t use.

Thick Walls Do Not Mean Better Efficiency

Many people believe that their wall thickness determines their efficiency. It does not. The construction of your wall is important because the amount of heat being released outside is dependent on the properties of your wall.

People continue to apply these methods to their homes every day. Not only will this reduce your energy efficiency but many people are so adamant that their theory works. It’s no wonder homeowners are baffled when they see their utility bill.

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Survey Finds Energy Should Come from Clean, Renewable Sources

January 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This post brought to you by ABB. All opinions are 100% mine.

Energy is a vital part of human life. However, the way we harness and use it has a tremendous impact on our environment. As the human population continues to grow, the greatest challenge of our generation is going to be to how to meet the growing demand for energy without hurting the environment.

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the most important developments for change are expected to come by increasing energy efficiency. A new survey has found that public policy must pave the way for the adoption of new consumer habits and technologies. 

According to the Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services (BBWRS) 2010 Energy Survey, 78 percent of energy industry stakeholders expect energy efficiency to account for over half of the total CO2 reduction potential by 2030. Sponsored by leading power and automation technology company ABB, the survey also revealed that 20 percent of the contribution is expected to come from switching to renewable energy sources such as water, wind, and sun, therefore limiting the use of fossil fuels.

Change, however, doesn’t come easy. Due to stubborn consumer behaviors and the high costs of developing and implementing new programs, the survey reveals that public policy will make the greatest impact in the effort to adopt new practices and technologies.

When it comes to developing alternative energy sources, 35 percent of survey respondents favor the use of incentives for companies to create alternative energy sources over incentives to end-users to utilize renewable sources (32 percent).

What is the best way for the government to intervene in the effort? The majority of those surveyed said that governments should focus on improving and incentivizing smart grid technology.

The purpose of the BBWRS Survey was to understand the future of the energy market and to evaluate opportunities and barriers that exist in adopting new energy technologies. The program surveyed senior energy-industry executives at leading large and midsize companies. To learn more, watch the following YouTube video produced by ABB:

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Driving Force: Harvesting Kinetic Energy from Passing Cars

October 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Innovators restlessly think up new and ‘greener’ ways to harness power to fuel our world. The push to make and use greener energy sources is larger than ever, and is focused on thermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind power. Sainsbury, a UK grocery chain to fuel checkout, uses kinetic power from their parking lots.

The new location which opened in Gloucester in June 2009 was installed with a number of kinetic energy plates in their parking lot. This means, that every single time a car drives over the plates the motion creates energy. This energy is stored and thus provides power to the fuel checkout stands. Grocery chain sources say the plates are capable of supplying 30kWh of energy per hour. Keep in mind, that this kind of kinetic-energy collecting does not come free; yes, it does mean the car uses up more fuel at each bump, which of course is a small amount. This though is not negligible as most cars still use eco-unfriendly fossil fuels – making each trip to this location a little taxing on the environment. However, making the assumption that the plates are used in place of speed bumps which are quite frequently found in supermarket parking lots, then, the amount of energy used up by the car is almost the same.

Kinetic energy plates is just one way Sainsbury’s is using greener energy sources. The Gloucester Quays location has a rainwater collection system which it uses to flush its toilets, the store has large windows to let in natural light, reducing dependency on artificial lighting and also uses solar thermal panels to heat the store’s water during the summer.