Night vision goggles, energy efficiency and a tip

posted by Andrew Cuneo

By Tara Knight, Hill & Knowlton in Vancouver, Cananda

Chad Tragakis highlighted an article for me about the City of Boston deciding to use infrared (the technology in night vision) to scan the city’s buildings to determine how energy efficient the buildings are (article: http://bit.ly/Boston-infrared). Infrared detects the heat signatures of beings or objects. You are likely familiar with infrared’s use in night goggles or if you traveled through those big fever-detecting infrared scanners in popping up in airports during flu epidemics. The technology is tremendously adaptive, and its use is growing for consumers and business especially as a cost-effective, non-invasive process to determine a building’s heat efficiency.

Boston’s Mayor plans to have the infrared scans cover every square foot of Boston, and claims it will be the first of their kind in a major American city. It’s an ambitious goal. Buildings use 40% of the world’s ‘final’ energy according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In fact, the Council recently released a report that shows how energy use in buildings can be cut by 60 percent by 2050 – essential to meeting global climate change targets (for those of you who like to challenge your landlord, the Council’s report is available online here.) Of course, this technology is already available to interested organizations and consumers who want to be on top their energy consumption.

However, you don’t have to start big- we all know each of us can take a little action and make a difference. Google has a neat little personal tool – Google powermeter – a free energy monitoring tool to monitor your home’s energy consumption.  According to their blog “one Australian restaurant recently learned that something as easy as turning off their coffee pots each night would save them $3,000 dollars per year.” If every city like Boston and each of us starting tracking our energy use, it’s a safe bet we could save more than that.

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