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Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'

6/28/2011 06:39 PM EDT
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chanj0
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
chanj0   6/28/2011 7:45:16 PM
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To promote energy saving is a big topic lately. The forum has some interesting discussions. One of the statements is correct - 'Energy works for me, I don't work for energy.' I think we are consuming the natural resource to promote economic growth. There is nothing wrong to use energy. Yet, there is everything wrong to waste energy. Wasting or using are somewhat personal perspective. Technology may be helpful to promote energy saving. The bottomline is how we change our habit to save more. Habits can include turn down the heat in the winter, regulated the air conditioner int he summer, driving an hybrid, etc. There are so much we can do before technology helps us. We just need to be a bit more sensitive to energy use.

R_Colin_Johnson
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
R_Colin_Johnson   6/28/2011 9:34:04 PM
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You are correct, except that in the U.S., at least, people are fickle--tending only to care so long as their are shortages. As soon as energy becomes plentiful, for instance when gas prices are low, they start going "whole hog" again forgetting to conserve. However, if the cool-factor can be engaged, then even the biggest hogs may remain conservative in order have fun--which never goes out of style ;)

Dave.Dykstra
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
Dave.Dykstra   6/29/2011 4:51:29 AM
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R_Colin has it right. Except that people don't forget to conserve, they just presume that if prices are low enough they don't need to conserve. And I haven't seen much in the way of different behavior anywhere else in the world that I've been either. Todays's children are being taught conservation much more than we were and, hopefully, that will eventually lead to better results.

prabhakar_deosthali
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
prabhakar_deosthali   6/29/2011 6:28:15 AM
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While such forums are encouraging people to save energy on a personal scale, there has been a blatant misuse of available energy in some case just to get commercial advantage. Take for example the day-night cricket matches played in a country like India and that also in summer where there is a bright daylight available almost for 13 hours. The sport which is actually a dya activity has now been converted to only night activity to add glamor to it. Millions of units of electrical energy is being wasted here while on the other hand we are trying to grab that precious solar energy to convert into electricity using those expensive PV panels. Who is going to control this wastage?

goafrit
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
goafrit   6/29/2011 2:12:19 PM
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The world is not serious over energy conservation. The fact remains that the people that live in mansions are those preaching this message. I was told that Senator Al Gore consumes 13% of his local utility energy in his house. It is not just talking, we need to act. I tend to believe people are talking to others without doing.

DarkMatter0
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
DarkMatter0   6/29/2011 8:18:50 PM
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Behavior modification requires coercion. I prefer to leave that to politicians and lawyers. As an engineer, I prefer innovation - products that produce the same or better user satisfaction with greater efficiency.

lgadz61
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
lgadz61   6/29/2011 8:26:19 PM
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So what happens when everyone is conserving energy? Here in Connecticut with some of the highest electrical rates in the country the utilities raise their rates because they aren't making enough of a profit. I have no incentive to conserve other than it's the right thing to do. The Smart Grid will just be an expensive boondoggle that enriches a few companies at the expense of the ratepayers. Our nifty new digital meters have turned into a fiasco as Northeast Utilities continues to stonewall the regulators over major issues with the meters - as in significantly wrong readings if one can believe what people with the problem have been saying. Do we really need to add all the appliances talking across the Internet? Next the "regulators" will be raising the temperature in my freezer!

R_Colin_Johnson
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
R_Colin_Johnson   6/29/2011 8:36:10 PM
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I feel your pain. Here in the Northwest investors who put millions into wind turbines are getting paid zero from the utilities right now, because all the rain has created an excess of hydroelectric power. This is a massive dis-incentive similar to your problem with raised rates. However, this just makes a case for my story's thesis--that traditional incentives just don't work in the long-term, because the changing landscape of current events can short-circuit any particular incentive. On the other hand, people love their mobile devices more than their children now days (: I say, tongue in cheek :) so if companies like ThinkEco can make energy conservation as fun as "Call of Duty" on a smartphone, then people will likely "play" at it just for the "cool factor."

R_Colin_Johnson
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
R_Colin_Johnson   6/29/2011 8:52:58 PM
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You are right! It is every engineers job today to include as much energy efficiency as possible into their designs. That said, I believe that if you check out ThinkEco's "cool factor" solutions, you will see that they are not just window dressing, but in fact do contain significant technological innovations as well.

texdave
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re: Energy efficiency may require 'cool factor'
texdave   6/29/2011 9:09:11 PM
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Engineers shouldn't assume that the problem is insurmountable. Why should we give up prosperity and convenience? This isn't our heritage. We believe in solving problems. Energy isn't a bad thing. Energy efficiency is a good thing. We can figure out how to have as much energy as we need and still balance our ecosystem. We should not turn our innovative spirit and dreams over to politicians, we can solve our own problems.

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