Thursday, June 15, 2006

Energy Savings

About this time every year it gets really really hot (I know, imagine that!) With the increased temps come greater cooling costs. With current political/eco policies it could be very advantageous to a company in a large building (think box stores and malls etc.) to install solar paneling across the entire roof. This could easily be accomplished in an aesthetic way as it is difficult to make a Walmart or you average mall uglier than it already is.

Advantages would be... Good P.R., Energy rebates, a "free" source of energy, and a shaded building would heat up less and would not need to be cooled as much.

Other energy saving devices are things such as skylights. New Wal-Marts already have them to reduce the daytime energy load. Dimming the lights, or perhaps removing one row of lights in those overhead flourescents can reduce costs. This was mandatory for businesses while I was in the Portland area in 2001 due to a drought. I never heard anyone complain about it and the measures did make a difference in overall usage.

Air conditioners and swamp coolers should be shaded if at all possible. Plants/trees work great for this. The cooler the unit is, the less it has to work. Trees can also be used to shade the house, but it takes a long time to grow them or lots of money for a large one to be moved to your house.

Keep curtains closed on the side of the house that the sun is shining on. This keeps the heat of the sun outside of the house. And of course, all the usual things apply. Clean your AC/furnace, seal doors and windows, replace lights and appliances with energy efficient ones.