Even Without A Greentech Breakthrough, Businesses Cutting Their Electricity Bills

from the dual-bottom-lines dept

As oil prices continues to rise and concerns about global warming become more widespread, there's been a spike in investment in green technology. This has prompted some debate about whether there's a bubble in this space. Of course, even if there is a bubble, some good can come out of it if many different avenues are rapidly explored. But while researchers throw noodles against the wall to see what sticks, there are already many concrete steps being taken to abate energy use. Increasingly, industrial manufacturers are recognizing that environmental friendliness and cost savings go hand in hand, and so in the absence of any major energy breakthrough, they're finding ways to reduce the energy needs at their factories. Some of these things are as simple as using more energy-efficient lighbulbs, while some facilities are increasingly employing cogeneration, an old concept that involves recycling excess heat and steam back into usable energy. The effects aren't minimal; according to the Energy Information Administration, energy use among manufacturers in the US is now half of what it was in 1979, despite a doubling of output. There's nothing wrong with exploring new types of fuels and energy sources, even if some are of dubious value, but in the absence of a silver bullet, it shouldn't be overlooked that businesses' endless need to reduce costs and improve efficiency is already leading to immediate progress.
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  • identicon
    dorpus, 2 May 2007 @ 1:45pm

    Wasteful tests

    I'm about to start a hospital job, so I went to sign the papers at the HR department today. They had me do a color-blindness test, even though it has nothing to do with my job as a data analyst?? They said it was to "prove" they don't discriminate against color-blind people.

    And they did not give me any papers indicating my salary, is that shit legal?? They said they only give such contracts to doctors. I'm supposed to trust the figure they gave me over the phone. Is that legal in Alabama, or are there federal laws against that?

    On the way home I had to do a drug test. Haven't done one of those things in ten years. The lobby of the testing center had a giant fish tank. The new tests give you the results instantaneously -- you can see bars rising on the side of the cup, and if it passes a certain line, you're negative. Of course, I was negative on all counts.

    Unless, was anyone ever so stoned that they pissed in the fish tank at a drug testing center?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Larry, 2 May 2007 @ 2:59pm

      Re: Wasteful tests

      You are correct Dorpus. You shouldn't have to take a color test.

      You giving short arm inspections? No wonder, I've often thought you'd do that kind of stuff gratis (and no need for color distinction to check rectum's either).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Charles Griswold, 2 May 2007 @ 4:25pm

      Re: Wasteful tests

      What does any of that have to do with the price of rice in Saskatchewan?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    IT worker, 2 May 2007 @ 2:55pm

    and for an on topic reply...

    At our organization, we've been able to reduce the cost of energy and cooling dramatically, by replacing our physical servers (25 or so) with a couple of VMWare boxes. Virtualization has come a long way, and you would be amazed at the benefits you'll run into when looking to virtualize your servers. I can assign resources (CPU, Mem, bandwidth) at will, the boxes will automatically load balance based on your criteria if it begins running out of resources, backups become copying flat files, and, as I mentioned, cooling and power costs have been cut by more than half.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kyros, 2 May 2007 @ 3:22pm

    Staying on topic, I think it's good companies are finally seeing the positives of helping the enviroment (which is always a good thing) and also saving money. The more companies save, the more (in theory) consumers save.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2007 @ 3:56pm

    I forget what it calculated out too but a year ago a friend of mine suggested to the company having all computers go into standby after n number of mins not being used. The amount of money it saved was enough he got a bonus for the suggestion and hybrination/standby has come a long way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John (profile), 2 May 2007 @ 5:12pm

    Turn off computers

    What if everyone in the office turned off their computers and monitors when they went home for the day? Or if they can't turn off the computer, at least put it in "low-use" or hibernation mode. But, there's no reason to leave the monitor on all night.

    Plus, this could be a security issue: with the monitors turned off, the cleaning crew won't see any secret documents that may still be open. And, yes, I'm sure there are still plenty of people who don't log off or lock their PC when they go home at night.

    Someone said that the turning on and off will reduce the lifespan of the device. Um, what's the average lifespan for a computer in an office? 3 years? 4 years? How long will it take for today's computers to be replaced because they "only" have a 100G hard drive?
    I would think the technology would become obsolete (or the office managers will think it's obsolete) long before the machine breaks down due using the on/ off switch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      B, 2 May 2007 @ 8:46pm

      Re: Turn off computers

      You would be surprised how cheap some of these managers can be...
      Besides, lots of monitors turn off after a period of inactivity. Even the cheap ones. Our office (finally!) got new hardware. All new (very cheap) LCD monitors and terminals that interface with the mainframe instead of every employee having their own PC. These things save energy and are low cost in both the short and long run.
      Surprisingly enough with all this "green" movement, not many earth shattering "green" technologies have come out that are feasible for current use (maybe in a few years). Most of these things that offices are installing were created with the idea of energy savings in mind. And not saving to be "green," but saving to save some green (ok... that was pretty corny).

      -B

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    IronChef, 9 May 2007 @ 11:05am

    No More kids? Are these guys serious?

    I've come to believe that environmentalists at their core, hate people. They see people as a parasite on their lovely mother earth.

    Pretty soon, you'll start seeing studies that indicate that if you want to save the world, families should limit the number of kids they have.

    Ooops I spoke too soon.
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/heat-on-parents-to-have-fewer-kids-to-cool-planet/2007/05 /06/1178390140826.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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