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By: catfuraplenty , 4:40 AM GMT on June 14, 2009
European countries, for the most part(and I know many have changed to a more western way of doing things), had it right. They know how to act during the summer. We talk about saving money, saving energy, saving water, lowering energy bills and gas consumption,yada, yada, yada. But do we? Do we utilize commonsense, going with the flow of the heat rather than acting like everyone lives in San Diego, CA, a comfortable 70ish year around?
I hear ya, I'm getting to the point.
Open early, I'm talking about 5am and stay open to 10am. Then close during the hottest part of the day and reopen at say 5PM and close at 11PM.
How does this save energy? You probably already know this but I'll point out savings anyway, because it's my blog...:P
1. Opening during the coolest parts of the day and staying closed during the hottest parts of the day will save energy across the board. Companies will use less electricity to keep their stores cool. This will also be reflected in the heavy load placed on the power grid that accompany daytime spikes. Without that huge demand at peak daylight hours, we can cut down usage by staying in our offices, in our houses and off the streets. Savings on electricity across the board.
2. With no great reason to have to stay on the roads during the hottest parts of the day, we will use less gas sitting there idling in the heat, giving off more green house gases, etc. This will also cut down on the radiant heat that a city generates anyway in the middle of the day. All that concrete + all those motorized vehicles on the road ramps up the heat to much higher than it should be. Plus we could cut way back on the production of ozone. In Houston (close to where I live) ozone and other particulates are generated and don't dissipate as they should do to our heat and humidity. Many times we get warnings that the air is unhealthy to sensitive individuals (which really means if you breath, stay indoors). In the evenings these levels typically drop off.
3. Going with the heat instead of against would probably save lives and/or make us feel a whole lot better. Doing what needs to be done in the cooler (relatively cooler) parts of the day we don't expose our bodies to extremes of heat. We also don't expose ourselves to the extremes of being in a super heated environment then going into air conditioned buildings and back out into the unforgiving summer day. We'd save on having to use so many sun screen products and cut back on water consumption. We know we need to conserve water as well as electricity.
During the winter months, we do the opposite. Open when the sun is up and close when the sun is down. Isn't this supposed to be why we invented daylight savings time? Maybe I'm wrong about that. I haven't checked on the original meanings of this odd time switch but certainly it had to be done for more of a reason than making us all grumpy and bleary eyed twice a year.
This saving energy stuff may not work in all states or in all cities. Houston, which is miserable in the summer, spring and fall but glorious about two months of the year could institute the summer schedule nearly year around. We have far more heat than we ever have cold. And going to the summertime opening and closing schedule would save us money pretty much all the time.
But in places like North Dakota, I imagine (since I don't live there) that a winter schedule 8 months of the year or so would save them energy, water, etc.
Where ever you live. In whatever climate. Going with nature is the only way to really have an impact on our energy and water savings. It won't amount to a hill of beans if we go to alternate sources of energy if we also try to ignore what nature is trying to tell us; mainly don't buck the system.
Those are my 2 cents worth. And if you find you want to know what it is like to be out during the wee hours, read the blog that was just before this one. :)
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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