Saturday, November 28, 2009

Energy Audit Videos on You Tube

Just because YOU investigate the concept of energy efficiency doesn't mean the rest of your organization (or your customer's organization) will. This is especially true for the subject of energy audits. Some education is usually necessary for people to understand the concept and what's at stake. I recommend these brief vids on YouTube as a quick and easy way to introduce the subject. These are especially valuable because the speakers are real business leaders and facility managers, not salesmen with a product to sell.

Denton Municipal Electric Business Energy Audit – 3 min 33 sec
A real basic intro.

“Energy Smart” – 2 min 55 sec
Minnesota plant managers talk about their energy management experiences.
“How to Make Energy Audits Work for Your Building”
A video intended for facility managers. – 3 min 34 sec

“The Treasure Hunt Team in Action” - 2 min 25 sec
Produced by GE, looking at their manufacturing facilities. This is ideal for those organizations that just can't bear to spend money on a proper energy audit.

“A Treasure Hunt at Universal Studios is Full of Surprises” - 3 min 28 sec
Note the reference to lean/kaizen concepts.


Monday, November 16, 2009

What if There WAS NO Industrial Energy Policy?

Let's say, for whatever reason, that an industrial energy policy is not wanted or needed. Let's ignore for now the predictable rejoinder that "no policy" is itself a policy. From a U.S. perspective, here's the result:

1. Without a public policy emphasis on energy, we'd be competing against "energy smart" economies that have a greater flexibility to handle resource scarcity and evolving regulatory and market needs.

2. Without development of energy-efficient technologies, we would simply conduct business-as usual, a model predicated on a 1960's expectation of cheap, limitless energy. This would be reinforced by our dependence on old paradigms for industrial technology, capital and organization.

3. Without a supporting energy research and development infrastructure, we lose the power, efficiency, and economy of coordinated R&D resources. We condemn ourselves to wasteful "reinvention of the wheel" instead of harnessing collaborative synergies. We can argue that there's a risk management benefit in having redundant research paths, but this works only if political battles among the different path sponsors don't get out of hand.

4. If we fail to encourage the training of an energy-efficient workforce, we forfeit the comparative advantage of labor productivity characterized by energy-smart behavior and procedures. We resign our industry to competing on wage rates alone-- not a good strategy for the U.S. and many other developed nations.

5. If we do not convene industry-wide initiatives to adopt energy efficient technologies, we forfeit a competitive advantage to countries that excel in such coordination-- as many already do.

6. If we chose to forfeit our national security, a good way to do this is to remain dependent on foreign suppliers of resources-- the more the better.


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