Energy Efficiency

In this week’s blog entry I will be putting a few perspectives out there on the concept of Energy Efficiency. Energy as we all know is becoming ever more topical and important from both a business and societal perspective. The demand for energy is only increasing and the supply is struggling to keep up. So it is high time that we begin using the energy we have wisely and efficiently!

Energy efficiency; many people talk about it, fewer practice it, and those that do don’t always do it very well! You may be asking yourselves, “Energy efficiency, isn’t that where you install a few sensors to switch devices on and off and where you put in a few energy saving light bulbs to lower your electricity bill?”

“Jein” would be the answer, as energy efficiency is a whole lot more, much bigger! You need to adopt a big picture outlook or in management speak a so called holistic view on the topic. Don’t get the wrong idea; I am not going to be writing about how we are going to save the world in the following paragraphs.

Energy is used everywhere in our society to produce, transport and provide products and services. A holistic approach to energy efficiency involves thinking about how much energy you consume not only directly but indirectly as well. Considering direct consumption of energy is easy; lights, T.V., stereo, heating, air conditioning, transportation and computers. Considering indirect is quite difficult and not always given much thought; unnecessary consumption of products and services, wastefulness, purchasing exotic products that have been transported a great distance, and don’t forget datacenters which support all our online activities.

How are we going to get there?

A mind shift is currently slowly in progress, due to all the energy hype! Trying to not waste energy by switching devices off and installing energy efficient devices is part of the solution. But the really difficult task for all of us is trying not to buy products that we do not really need! Moreover the biggest impact will only be seen when there is wide spread installation of measurement devices that can tell us each individually how much energy we consume and what precise impact that will have on our wallet, community, society and environment.

Thought is key in becoming more energy efficient, and we students, as educated thinkers and the future leaders of industry in this world should think in a more sustainable manner and be careful of not conducting ourselves in a fleeting and thoughtless consumption-orientated manner. It is this adjustment in our own and others behaviors which will help us not only become energy efficient and sustainable but by doing so will ensure that the human race inhabits this world longer than the dinosaurs did.

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