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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Operations > Standard Operating Procedures for Green and Sustainable Business Operations > Energy Efficient Operations

Energy Efficiency is Easy, Available and a Cost Savings

We're missing the low-hanging fruit of greenhouse gas reduction, fuel savings, and foreign oil dangers. How? By ignoring the simplest form of energy management.

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Energy efficiency isn't new. Energy efficiency isn't rocket science. And energy efficiency is the cheapest solution available to us individually and at the family level, as business people, and as community leaders.

"...the U.S. has a renewable-energy resource that is perfectly clean, remarkably cheap, surprisingly abundant and immediately available. It has astounding potential to reduce the carbon emissions that threaten our planet, the dependence on foreign oil that threatens our security and the energy costs that threaten our wallets. Unlike coal and petroleum, it doesn't pollute; unlike solar and wind, it doesn't depend on the weather; unlike ethanol, it doesn't accelerate deforestation or inflate food prices; unlike nuclear plants, it doesn't raise uncomfortable questions about meltdowns or terrorist attacks or radioactive-waste storage, and it doesn't take a decade to build. It isn't what-if like hydrogen, clean coal and tidal power; it's already proven to be workable, scalable and cost-effective. And we don't need to import it.

This miracle juice goes by the distinctly boring name of energy efficiency, and it's often ignored in the hubbub..."

You and I know that. We know it's all about energy efficiency.

Green Messaging about Energy Efficiency

The question we face as sustainable business people is how to get that message about energy efficiency across to our prospects. And green messaging is vital in that energy strategy. It turns out that "it is much less expensive, destructive and time-intensive to reduce demand through efficiency than to increase supply through new drilling or new power plants." That's our core energy efficiency message. But we need to bring it home to the end consumer -- our prospect for energy efficiency measures.

Energy Efficiency is about doing the same or more with less.

  • Studies by groups as diverse as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and even the National Petroleum Council have identified efficiency as the way to start addressing our energy and climate crises.

  • And some among us are "you" can too! The Alliance to Save Energy calculates that without the efficiency gains we've made since the last energy crisis, in 1973, our economy would use nearly 50% more energy today.

  • But we could save much more. A McKinsey study found that a global effort to boost efficiency with existing technologies could have "spectacular results," eliminating more than 20% of world energy demand by 2020.

  • And it's not hard. Energy efficiency has a lot of "low hanging fruit" that's easy!

    There are two basic ways to save energy without deprivation or daily effort:

    • We can use more efficient machinery.

      ... like fuel-efficient cars that guzzle less gas, or those pigtailed compact fluorescent lightbulbs that use 75% less power than traditional bulbs, or state-of-the-art refrigerators that are three times as efficient as 1973 models.

    • We can also use machinery more productively.

      That can be as simple as insulating pipes and ducts, caulking doors and windows and otherwise weatherizing our homes to avoid heating our attics and the outdoors -- and reducing the load on our machinery. And thus, the energy required to get the same results.

The Goal: Save 75% of our energy!

Amory Lovins argues that today's best techniques for energy efficiency could save the U.S. half our oil and gas and 75% of our electricity. That would mean no more imports from the Middle East, lower utility bills for everyone and a big step off our path toward a hotter planet.

How are you getting that message..."energy efficiency is doable and energy efficiency pays off big time" across to your prospects, your employees, and your friends and neighbors?


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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