“Everybody is trying to cut costs wherever they can,” said Michelle Henderson, showroom manager for Chicago-based Banner Plumbing Supply Co, which has seen increasing interest by commercial customers in energy-saving equipment such as low-flow toilets and tankless water heater systems. “Businesses in this economy are really trying to button down.”
When it comes to energy, policymakers are often confronted with human behavior that seems irrational, unpredictable, or unmanageable. Advocates for energy efficiency in particular are plagued by the gap between what it would make sense for people to do and what they actually do. Efforts to change people’s behavior have a record that can charitably be described as mixed.
If IT departments paid their own electric bills, you’d see electric monitoring systems being put into place quickly. If they had to deal with rate hikes, you’d see electric use go down. And if they were allowed to keep a sizable portion of their savings on electricity, and apply that to other IT projects, you’d see massive power savings in the data center.
Energy companies have been struggling for years to make dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) large enough to be used in commercial-size systems. Such next generation cells could be used in cutting-edge applications, like windows that turn passing sun rays into electricity.