How Often Do You Think About Your Lights Or Your Air Conditioner, Unless Its Broken?

My guess is not very often.Leaving an unused device “on” when leaving a room does not strike one as much as leaving water taps open.And so we waste a lot of energy and money, while a bit of care and attention could change a lot.I was convinced that at WWF we also need to do more about our energy impact, and walk the talk, and wanted to ignite this change.

I worked over 10 years on energy policy for WWF, but I wanted some practice. Thanks to an MSc in Wales at CAT and solar work experience at Hassler Energia I acquired more hands-on, practical knowledge needed for this new challenge.Now I am looking for ways to make our offices more energy efficient, and to switch our energy supply to solar.

Fifteen WWF offices across the world are already running on solar energy and I’ve seen the energy consumption drop drastically in all offices where we trained staff and made some technical changes, like replacing inefficient air conditioners. It works!But I couldn’t have done this without my colleagues.While they are concerned with other environmental issues in their day to day work, they are still enthusiastic to learn more about their impact and reduce their energy consumption.

Switch off the plug — switch on the sun: Energy policy into practiceThis week it is WWF EPO’s turn!We have launched a Sustainable Energy Week, a chance for everyone to learn and share how to make energy changes that matter and to become more familiar with the solar installation on our roof and smappee.This cute device enables everybody to easily check at any time how much electricity we use and solar electricity we produce.Everyone in the office can do it, techie or not.

When do you start? You might be surprised what a difference it makes.Jean-Philippe Denruyter is the manager for Applied Energy Solutions at WWF. He is based in Belgium. jdenruyter@wwf.euLearn more about WWF’s work on solar energy.

·RELATED QUESTION

Why don't hotel rooms have ceiling lights?

My hotel building is over 100 years old, so we have ceiling lights. We also need a ladder to change a bulb 11' from the floor. It can take 20 minutes for 1 bulb! This is one reason that we have changed to the longer lasting (and more economical) low-energy bulbs.

I would be delighted to have wall lights instead. Retro-fitting them would however be even less economically sound.

Higher than average ceilings mean ladders to change the bulbs in ceiling fittings, and this extends the maintenance time and convenience for staff enormously. Even normal height ceilings mean that a chair is needed to swap a bulb out. Wall fittings are so much more convenient for both staff and customers, reducing the time taken to get light again!

As Michael Forrest Jones says - anything other than a simple bulb swap requires the power to be cut to the whole circuit (which may be more than just a few rooms). This makes it very awkward to do emergency repairs after dark! -- Been there done that... Go with wall fittings that can be isolated in-room!

In short:

I have ceiling lights.

I don't like them, as they are awkward for maintenance.

Replacing them would be expensive and extremely difficult - basically a total rewire of the hotel lighting system.

Design engineers are not stupid. they note the first 2 points!

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