Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Energy Efficiency, The Awareness Factor

Make them aware and they will save

Most humans, by default, know that wasting anything is a bad idea. Whether our parents have ingrained the notion into our subconscious, or we've seen first hand the negative effects that can occur...we just seem to know, wasting is bad. When a meeting breaks up and everyone leaves the conference room with the lights still on it is often just accepted or unnoticed. When the last person out pauses to flip the switch off (or better yet the occupancy sensor does it for you) we do notice, and know it was a good idea. Somehow "we" have become, for lack of a better word, lazy. It has become widely accepted to leave the lights on "someone will be using the room in a little while anyway". We use the example of lights here, but the same applies to air conditioning systems, water, trash/recycling, gasoline, etc.
As the latest "Green Movement" begins to gain traction people are becoming more aware of waste. It is being talked about all around them, it is becoming popular to be energy efficient, to not waste.
Don't get me wrong, I love it. I'm one of those annoying people who is always turning off unnecessary lights (among other things). I've often wondered what it would take to get others to do the same more consistently. Certainly a grassroots movement that has made its way to The White House is getting the message out right now, making people aware of our wasteful, but accepted ways.
That's really the key concept here, awareness. If people can see the benefit of their actions, if they can see that they are making a positive impact, they will do the right thing.
In this digital age, helping people be aware has never been easier. Our buildings are smarter and more connected now than they ever have been. We can deliver key messages and metrics to measure building performance in real time on digital signage in public areas, as desktop gadgets on employee's workstations, send live text messages or Tweets to mobile phones. When this type of data (kWh usage today vs. yesterday, projected usage vs. targets, etc.) is made available to people it can have a tremendous impact. Suddenly colleagues and neighbors are comparing notes with each other, competitions can develop to see who can save the most. All in the spirit of good fun, but certainly helping to eliminate waste and have a positive impact on the environment and the corporate bottom line.
When people can see that by turning off lights the energy usage really does go down, they'll turn them off more often...it is after all ingrained in us.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Managing Electricity Usage With Twitter

Energy efficiency is being driven through twice daily automated "Tweets" from our server rack.
Using a simple device called the "Tweet-A-Watt" we are able to monitor the energy usage of our rack as we fine tune and squeeze every energy dollar out of it. Technicians are inspired to go as low as possible when setting up equipment, knowing that the kWh usage is being broadcast throughout the company.
Employees get amazingly creative as they watch the usage levels and strive to keep them low without sacrificing critical services.
Key personnel are notified via SMS if energy usage is above expected levels, or if the worst happens and usage goes to zero (great for energy efficiency, bad for uptime of hosted building management systems).

Check out Energy ETC's server rack power usage at:

Check out the Tweet-A-Watt at:

Monday, July 20, 2009

LED Lighting Technology Fact Sheets

Comprehensive resource for LED lighting technology fact sheets from US DOE http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ssl/factsheets.html

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Smart Buildings, Really, Really Smart!

Are you ready for the future of Building Automation? Good, because the future is here...now!
Are buildings ready to think for themselves? Can intelligent systems make the
workplace more comfortable and safe? Yes, and Yes!
Imagine your company's CEO pulls into the parking garage; with no extra effort, his security badge (the same one that opens the garage gate) has just notified his office of his arrival. His assistant receives an email (or instant text message) indicating his arrival as well. During the elevator ride to his office, the temperature is being automatically adjusted to his preferred set point. The lights come on, compensate for ambient light, and adjust their output to the appropriate foot-candle level. When he arrives, he is happy to see his office is ready to go, just the way he likes it. Invisible to him is the fact that while he was away his office was saving his company money.

All this, and virtually anything you can imagine, can happen with technology that is available today from Energy ETC.
It's true, intelligent buildings are here and they're here to stay. Using occupancy and building access information to control major building systems like HVAC and lighting can result in substantial utility cost savings AND increase occupancy comfort and worker productivity. Let your building help you decide when and where to deliver costly conditioned air and lighting.
Why settle for rigid time schedules? Allow your system (and its occupants via the web or automated telephony) to override systems based on actual usage and/or need.
You CAN have flexibility AND save money!
All this available today, right now...the future is here!

Energy ETC is committed to providing SMART Open Multi-Vendor Non-Proprietary Systems.