Given the advent of global warming, future generations may be subjected to something resembling an experiment in junior high school biology, where you would put a frog into a beaker full of water and raise the temperature slowly. The frog’s nervous system was not able to tell the frog that the water was getting too hot until it was too late.
Unfortunately, mankind’s collective nervous system seems to be serving us no better than the frogs. What’s even more alarming is that most natural climate changes occur over long periods of time by human standards. Global warming, which is partially due to the rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, is taking place on a much shorter time scale, one which human beings can recognize in some cases within a lifetime.
Since the beginning of the industrial age three centuries ago, mankind has been altering the composition of the atmosphere. We are carbon-creating creatures! Throughout the twentieth century, we have assembled an increasing array of machines, all of which produce carbon dioxide and other gases, which have been changing the atmospheric balance in ways that retain an increasing amount of heat in the atmosphere.
Like the lesson that was learned with the frog in biology class, global warming has already been put in motion and it is up to us (mankind) to give our nervous system a jolt, so that we can realize that the time to do something has arrived. One of the most attractive ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency is through energy conservation. Energy conservation measures are usually relatively inexpensive and can be implemented quickly.
Below are some energy conservation tips that you can immediately take advantage of to keep the Base electricity consumption low and reduce strain on the electrical grid:
Speak to your colleagues about saving energy! You need to lead by example, but it’s also important to make it a team effort. Many people who are very energy conscious at home forget to follow energy saving practices at work.
If you are using a ceiling fan or table fan along with an air conditioner, the wind chill effect means that you can set your air conditioner higher to 26 °C / 78.8 °F or 27 °C / 80.6 °F and still be comfortable. Every increase of 1.7 °C / 2 °F on your thermostat could result in a reduction of 16 per cent in air conditioning energy usage and could generate significant energy savings.
Please shut off your computer monitors during break times and lunch time. If everyone on base shut off their monitors during their breaks and lunch time, CFB Borden would save an estimated $11,000/yr. These energy savings would be equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 217 barrels of oil consumed.
Below are some home energy conservation tips that you can immediately take advantage of to conserve energy and keep money in your pockets:
Turn the temperature up! If you would like to cut back on energy usage this summer, be sure to set your thermostat above 25 °C / 77 °F. Every degree below this setting will add an additional 3- 6 per cent to your energy costs.
If your furnace has a continuous pilot light, you could save money this summer by turning off the pilot light. Recommend that you have a qualified furnace contractor relight the pilot light before the beginning of the heating season.
For your water heater to be as energy efficient as possible it is a good idea to purchase an insulation jacket for your tank ($15-$20). It is also recommended to insulate the pipes that are entering your water heater for increased savings.
Remember: small changes make a big difference!
By Alex Savu, Energy Manager, RP Ops Det Borden