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22 March 2012

Energy Commission promoting Efficiency

This is a very nice video, starting by the fact that the word "scarcity" shows up well before CO2. Nice to see the Commission getting its priorities right for a change. The previous Energy Commissioner, Adris Piebalgs, once called Efficiency his favourite energy source. In reality there isn't much to think about it: increasing efficiency reduces our trade imbalences with the exterior and at the same time increases the competitiveness of our companies; it also buys time for the energy transition into a fossil fuel free economy.

The labelling directive comes from the days of Andris Piebalgs, it is simple, nearly costless and can be tremendously effective. Just as an example: I had to buy a computer monitor some months ago; after sorting out the requirements at the store I got in face of two nearly identical models from different makes. Usually I have a tough time choosing stuff when shopping and after a while trying to decide it finally occurred to me that energy consumption might be the perfect way to untie it. I asked the staff but they could not help, thoroughly checking the boxes we could not find any information of the sort. Luckily, at electronics stores there usually are computers available for test, and even more luckily, with an internet connection. After searching for a some minutes I found that whist one of the monitors has a power consumption of 20 W, the other consumes 40 W. In this particular case, the amount of money I'm sparing with this choice over the course of an year is negligible. But now imagine you could spare half your energy consumption by simply following the labelling system. I hope the spread of labelling to every consumer good that uses energy can become a reality very soon.

One interesting detail about this little video is the reference to Luxembourger companies. ArcelorMittal you may already know, the largest steel company in the world, born in southern Luxembourg within the industrial dynamics created with Lorraine and Saarland. Ironically, the preferred form of energy savings chosen by ArcelorMittal has been shutting down factories, in what seems a rapid metamorphose into a financial company. In the last 5 years ArcelorMittal fired over 30 000 workers in Europe alone.

And Bofferding is the largest brewery in Luxembourg. It's one of those brands that sort of merges with the country's identity itself. Personally it is far from being my favourite; if you ever come to stop by in these parts, I advise a taste of other locally brewed beers. But now knowing about Bofferding's efforts to save energy, my respect for their beers has gone well up.

So, yes, efficiency.

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