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Companies Overlook Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are getting a lot of attention these days as a way to reduce the impact of energy use on the environment, The New York Times reports (via Stop Global Warming). But even enthusiastic supporters of alternative energy agree that the easiest way to cut carbon emissions and air pollution is to focus more on efficiency, less on pollution-free generation.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, for example, spends $150 to $200 to install more efficient blowers to cool lasers that carves the date and batch number into cups. That move cuts Green Mountain’s annual electricity bill for each laser by about $200. That might not seem like much, except that the company has 40 such lasers.

Green Mountain Coffee was persuaded to undertake such improvements in efficiency through an unusual effort by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, which is under contract with the state to find thousands of such energy savings.

“Efficiency is the steak,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Renewables are the sizzle.”


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One thought on “Companies Overlook Energy Efficiency Opportunities

  1. This article has it exactly right, including the Carl Pope quote. Energy efficiency is not sexy, but more important for businesses are two things: first energy efficiency investments are treated like short term investments, so quick payback is demanded and return on investment must be favorable compared to other uses of funds. Second, the financial decision makers often have no connection to the technical staff who understand where improvements can be made. Changes in expectations and vastly improved internal communcations can produce real change. then the snazzy solar panels can go up.

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