It is my opinion that I have cut down my household electricity consumption to a fairly good range. For a family of four living in an above average sized home using 360 to 390 kWh per month on a twelve month rolling average feels like a success. Furthermore, I am offsetting more than 100% of that electricity consumption via the solar photovoltaic system on my roof.
Although my children generally groan when I tell them to head back downstairs to turn off lights when they are done playing with LEGOS or practicing piano they understand what is behind the request. Heck, my son has turned into a little eco-warrior albeit in his own way. For some reason he is focused on people who smoke. His frequent refrain when we pass someone smoking is, “Why do people smoke? It’s not good for them, it is expensive, and the smoke is bad for the environment.” If only we all could follow the logic of a six year old.
However, much of my days is not spent at home but at work. It is a fairly standard office setting. A lot of cubicles, a smattering of offices, and a handful of conference rooms. It is the type of office environment that would not be out of place in a half hour sitcom or the movie Office Space. Fortunately my days are not interrupted by Lundberg.
Surprisingly in a recent renovation of the office space some automatic lighting controls were installed that switch lighting on and off based on movement. This prevents offices and common areas from being lit up all night long when none is occupying the space. I say surprisingly because the company I work for is not well known for its forward leaning facilities plan.
The conference rooms do not have these features. Lights are still controlled by wall mounted switches and projectors for presentations have indeterminate timers. No matter how many LEDs I switch off in my own home, it cannot compare to switching off the conference room lights at the end of the day before going home. Heck, I turn off the lights in the three conference rooms I pass on my way to get hot water for tea whenever these rooms are unoccupied.
The computer projectors, though, drive me insane. When these things are blazing away it is like leaving a 300W incandescent bulb burning. Ever seen a 300W incandescent bulb? It’s freaking bright and hot. A couple of taps on a remote is all it takes to turn these machines off yet most meetings adjourn with the projectors being left on regardless of a meeting taking place in the same room or not.
I now find myself turning into the light and projector police at work. What about you? Do you turn the lights off at work?