Building a new library soon? check out this cool site from Rocky Mountain Institute called Green Footstep. It’s an online assessment calculator that guides you through creating a more carbon neutral, low energy building whether it’s a new building or retrofitting. Answer some questions regarding where the building is located, the ecosystem and building characteristic and you will get a report as a result. There is a helpful FAQ section and some case study to peruse. http://www.greenfootstep.org/
Energy Efficiency Resource November 9, 2009
The US Dept of Energy has a wonderful web site on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy loaded with lots of tips, news, ideas, and more. Check out the energy audit section, find out about tax credits and rebates (even specifically on energy star appliances), choose a category such as appliances, lighting, remodeling, heating etc. for more information, read about energy saving possibilities in the workplace, or read the energy savings blog.
save energy October 26, 2009
One easy way you can save energy (and money!) in your library is through your computer power management settings. A typical desktop computer and LCD monitor can use over 200 watts a day. Laptops use less than 45 watts and Macs generally use a lot less energy too. (more info) By putting your computer to “sleep” you can cut back to 1-5 watts of energy. Generally if you are going to be away for more than 20-30 minutes, set your computer and monitor to sleep/hibernate mode. This is especially good to do at night, weekends, or when you are away. Check with your IT folks to find out how they install updates to your computer, but many times they can either remotely turn on your computer, or set the updates to install once you computer is back on the network. (more info) The EPA has some information on computer power management settings for individual computers. How to access these settings? In Windows XP go to start – control panels – power options: set your monitor and your standby to 20 minutes. For Macs go to system preferences – energy saver. Also check that your peripherals are turned off – like the printer or copier -as well. And buy Energy Star computers whenever possible – they use up to 60% less energy than non-energy star computers . More computer energy saving tips.
Two common myths: no it doesn’t hurt your computer to turn it off and on frequently AND screensavers do nothing to save you energy.
Check out the Energy Star Pledge to join the campaign and/or find out more energy saving tips and ideas.
Libraries lending Kill-A-watt devices October 16, 2009
Kill-a-watt devices help you analyze how much an appliance contributes to your utility costs, the best times of day to use that appliance, and basically how to be more energy efficient and save money. A number of electric companies are lending them to their citizens but since these businesses dont have a good lending service in place, some are turning to libraries to lend for them. In southwest colorado, several libraries including Cortez and Mancos Public Libraries are now lending these devices to their patrons. I bet other libraries are doing this now too. cool, eh?
Power Shifts 2009 on college campuses October 7, 2009
Many campuses around the country are hosting Power Shift ’09 Regional Summits where young voters are asking “President Obama and Congress to pass a clean energy jobs plan by December to rebuild our economy, end our dependence on dirty energy, and bring America lasting security.” Check out the dates, locations, or how to get involved.
Power Strips and Vampire Energy July 29, 2009
A great video on how smart power strips help with vampire energy loss and save you money:
Cool Map: Renewable Enegy for America July 3, 2009
NRDC’s map – Renewable Energy for America: harvesting the benefits of homegrown renewable energy - can be viewed by renewable energy type (biogas, cellulosic biomass, solar, and wind) The gradient shade will show potential for this type of energy down to county level. You can zoom in or zoom by state & zipcode. Icons depict locations or future locations of biodigesters, biofuels, and wind power. Clicking on the by state tab you can read summaries of various state’s profiles. Libraries can find out and inform their public as to potential renewable energy projects is in their area.
FREE Webinar: Become a Carbon Zero Hero June 30, 2009
Free Webinar: Become a Carbon Zero Hero: Vanquish the Phantom Load Villain
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:00 – 3:30 PM EDT
Discussion on how to vanquish the phantom-load villains that lurk in every location; summarize power-management strategies for reducing phantom-loads based on comprehensive on-site audits of more than 15 college campuses; analyze specific phantom-load usage by key higher education constituents and programs, such as staff, faculty, dormitories, and computer labs and libraries; feature examples of student-led energy conservation campaigns, including the University at Buffalo’s creative and successful “Do It In the Dark” campaign.
Energy Monitoring to Save $ May 14, 2009
Google’s Power Meter - The application will collect information from utility meters and energy monitors and provide easy access to energy statistics right from your iGoogle homepage. Not yet publicly available but you can join the mailing list. FAQs
Smart Power Strips are an easy way to monitor the amount of energy that item is using and you can shut off power supply when you don’t need it. Cost about $25- $50
Kill-A-Watt allows you to connect your appliances and assess how efficient they are for about $25. Watch this video to learn more.
GreeenSwitch is a wireless switch (which uses a microchip controlled radio frequency communication) that you – or the last person in the office - switch off creating a signal sent to all the components you designated, such as light switches and wall plugs, to automatically turn them off. Cost ranges according to home or office needs.
Energy Joule – just plug it into any available wall outlet and turn it on. The color will indicate when you are paying more or less for energy and you can adjust your usage accordingly. Check with your power company to see if its available in your area.
Black N Decker Power Monitor consists of two parts – a wireless transmitter that easily attaches to your electric meter, and a wireless handheld device that uses data from your electric meter to display information about your energy consumption. Cost about $100.