Reducing our Energy Consumption

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

We are being urged, by government and others, in the home and at our places of work, to turn off light and appliances that are not in use, and such like, in order to reduce our energy consumption, as households and businesses, and as a nation.

No one in government, however, seems to look at how electricity, for one, is being wasted in our towns and cities by the local authorities used for illuminating “landmarks” and such.

Do we really, say in London, have to have things like the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, to name but two, lit up at night like no one's business. The amount of energy wasted by those illuminations must go into the millions per annum.

In the same way I do not think that we have to have government building lit up at night on the outside and neither do we have to have unused government buildings with lights on just in case someone breaks in and hurts himself in the dark. An excuse given again and again by local authorities who do that. What happened to burglars carrying flashlights? I always thought every self-respecting burglar took that along with a crowbar.

We also, I do not think, need to have government buildings with their lights on everywhere even though most people have gone home for the night. But that is the general state of affairs in many of those places.

Government should lead by example but obviously has no idea how to do that and finds one excuse after the other why lights are left on, why computer screens are glowing in the offices well past midnight when there is definitely no one home anymore, and especially about illuminating certain building from the outside. Not that any of those excuses really wash.

Then we could, in addition to that, talk about town halls and other local and central government buildings that are overheated in winter, with often temperatures well above 25C and people still complaining that they are cold and then bringing in additional space heaters.

Whatever happened to the advice that government gives to householders to turn down the heat to 18C and if they feel cold to put on a jumper? Can that advice not be applied to office workers too?

Before all this air-conditioning and such people would go to the office in a jacket with a thin jumper and they would work in the jacket, if need. That is why the jackets of office workers had those patches on their elbows. Nowadays they sit in shirtsleeves and often with the sleeves rolled up while the snow is falling outside. Is that really necessary?

It is time that we learned again to do with less heat (and cooling) the way our parents and grandparents did. Then again, when it comes to government, neither they nor their workers pay the bills directly. It is the taxpayers that do;; in other words: you and I.

We all must learn to do with less energy use but the leadership must be taken by the governments if they want to have the people follow, as regards to reducing the nation's energy consumption and thus meeting the CO2 reduction targets.

© 2010