Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April17, 2011
New York City is a city large enough to showcase how smart business, common sense and critical mass can impact huge shifts in our daily lives: and now the focus turns to energy savings.
While the world waits for ‘government’ to come up with some new invention to save energy, New York City is showcasing many ways to reduce consumption of energy through its own initiatives combined with government initiatives: The Empire State building just completed a large retro-fit to make the building more energy efficient…..it has reduced its energy consumption by almost 40%. Building codes require low-flush toilets and faucets…..thereby reducing water consumption significantly. Hybrid cabs use on average 20% less fuel than the older cabs. Many buildings are converting from oil to gas to heat. Old buildings are replacing old, leaky windows with new, more energy efficient ones.
In an apartment, here are some ways to make an impact:
1) Make sure your windows are energy efficient: if not, rally the troops in your building and instigate a building-wide program to replace old, leaky windows.
2) Window unit AC units are hyper-inefficient: ducted, central air is about 25% more energy efficient.
3) Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED’s….yes, the bulbs are super-expensive, but they last about 7 years and the quality of light is so much better than fluorescent.
4) Get motion sensor lights for fire stairwells in your building that are hardly every used: leaving a light on 24/7 is extremely wasteful. 2 lights is not a big deal…..but go and count how many are in a 12 story building. Hundreds!
5) Install dimmer switches: dimmed lights look better, make you look better, and use less energy.
6) Don’t leave unused appliances on, and unplug them when not in use.
7) If you want to reduce electrical costs, run the laundry overnight….electricity is cheaper then.
8) Call your local authorities when you see park lights on when there is bright daylight…..have them turned off.
Individually the savings are not that great, but collectively the savings and reduction of energy consumption is HUGE. Join in…..its happening already, and there are some government incentives to encourage this shift in thinking.