Thursday, July 26, 2012

Green Olympics

As part of their bid for the 2012 summer Olympics which open tomorrow, London made a commitment to host the greenest Olympic games in the tournament's recent history. According to the official website for the London 2012 games, organizers are quoted as saying, "When we bid to host the 2012 Games, we made a radical proposal to the International Organising Committee. We weren’t only going to put on the biggest sporting event in the world; we were going to hold the world’s first truly sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games, leaving a legacy far beyond the departure of the Olympic Flame."

The most energy efficient venue in Olympic Park is the velodrome, an indoor arena with banked tracks for bicycle racing.The energy efficient features of the velodrome include:

·         A lean building shape and curved roof that rises toward the ends, which allows heat to escape upward and adds extra seats.
·         Windows that illuminate the track with daylight and minimize need for electric light.
·         A 100% natural ventilation system that eliminates the need for air conditioning.
·         A "smart" building management system that controls the venue's many mechanical, electric and plumbing systems for optimal energy efficiency and water efficiency.
·         Special insulation in the building exterior that will keep heat in during the winter.
For more information on the sustainability of the London games and to see the official countdown to the opening ceremonies, click here.
Click here for a complete schedule of all the events.

GO Team U.S.A.!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DVR = Huge Energy Vampire

According to a report from The National Resources Defense Council, DVR boxes and satellite receivers use more energy than a typical new flat screen TV and cost U.S. consumers $3 billion in energy annually -- $1 billion to operate when in active use and an additional $2 billion while inactive but still running at near full power. "Set-top boxes are the ultimate home energy vampires, silently sucking significant amounts of energy and money when nobody’s using them,” said Noah Horowitz, senior scientist at the NRDC. Click here to read the entire article from the National Resources Defense Council.

One way to reduce the amount of vampire energy being consumed by your television's electronic appendages is to use a power strip and switch off your TV, DVR, DVD player, video game console, etc. when when you go to bed or are out of the house. Just be mindful of the fact that if you want to record a program, leave the DVR box on, otherwise powering down these energy vampires when possible will result in noticeable savings.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Today's Energy Insight

Are you tired of the question,
                      "Is it hot enough for you?"

The following suggestions are courtesy of Minnesota Valley Electric Coop. As we near triple digit temperatures today, please keep these in mind:

  • Choose meals that don't contribute additional heat to your home (use a microwave or outdoor grill instead of an oven)
  • Delay running the dishwasher until after 10 p.m.
  • Delay washing clothes until after 10 p.m.
  • Turn off excess lights and keep curtains and draperies closed
  • Turn off computers and other electrical equipment when not in use.
  • Avoid leaving doors open for extended periods of time
  • If you're using an air conditioner, turn your thermostat up a couple degrees to save energy 
  • Consider traveling to a nearby mall, movie theater or restaurant to beat the heat

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today's Energy Insight

     By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR label, a household can save more than $60 a year in energy costs. Just imagine the savings if you swapped out most or all of your light bulbs for energy efficient ones! Additionally, if every home in America changed their five most frequently used light bulbs with those that have earned the ENERGY STAR label, we would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than eight million cars. Wow, that is eliminating a lot of pollutants!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Today's Energy Insight

Let the air flow! It takes more energy to distribute air if vents are blocked. Keep vents and floor registers clear of furniture, plants, draperies, sleeping pets and other objects to save energy. Additionally, keep blinds and curtains closed to the hot sun to help conserve energy during our current heat wave. Stay cool!