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Video: Saving Energy around the Water Cooler

Looking for ways to save energy in the workplace? Water coolers/heaters are ubiquitous in offices around the world. Nearly all of them are left on all night long when there’s no point in keeping the hot water hot and the cold water cold. Until recently, your humble Chelsea Green was guilty of this wasteful practice. Well, you know us—we just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to quickly and cheaply green the place up even further. In this video, Jonathan Teller-Elsberg explains how he installed an automatic power timer to save energy and reduce cost. After we’d filmed this segment, a fellow grasshopper pointed out that plug-in automatic timers consume a small amount of electricity themselves—suggesting that we might actually end up with a net loss of energy savings. Well, we wouldn’t want to suggest to our readers they take one step forward and two steps back in the race to reduce carbon emissions. With this in mind, Jonathan used his handy-dandy Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitor and found that, even with the timer sipping electricity constantly, we still end up with a net energy savings. Here’s Jonathan:
The cooler uses roughly 0.58 kWh of electricity per night (see “Thoughts inspired by the release of our other co-latest Green Guide: Greening Your Office”). So our gross savings using the automatic on/off timer are 0.58 kWh per day. Meanwhile, the timer uses roughly 0.024 kWh per day. That gives us a net savings each day of roughly 0.556 kWh. The financial payback time for the timer is probably something like 4 months. After that, it’s all savings, all the time.
Of course, Jonathan tells me, the financial payback time depends on how much energy the timer is saving you—the bigger the energy hog, the faster the payback time.
Be sure to check out GreenTweet TV for more energy saving green tips.


Ask the Experts: Submit Your Permaculture Questions Now

Attention all growers, food-lovers, and green-living enthusiasts, we are once again celebrating Permaculture Month by putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you. Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning, names in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and […] Read More

Recipe: Pascal Baudar’s Basic Wild Kimchi

Experiment with what you have, anything from the mustard family will work extremely well. Read More

Author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Dreaming of Lions

Reading through your life story, it’s clear that you were amazingly open to new experiences, approaching them like an observer who arrived with few previously held ideas. Do you think that it takes that kind of openness to see and understand animals and people in new ways, as you’ve done throughout your career? I do, […] Read More

Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More
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