Well last week I saw the ultimate in energy waste. I was visiting a food processing plant and on the mezzanine floor were the offices, containing the normal business office environment that would be expected. I haven’t mentioned names but if you are reading this you know who you are!
So picture this. The ambient temperature was 26ºC and all the side elevation windows were open wide; fine a bit of cross flow natural ventilation. But wait, all, yes all, the splits were whirring away attempting to cool the whole planet. Not only that but the roof windows, were closed and no blinds were present so a good attempt was being made to imitate a greenhouse roof.
This was a classic example of no common sense and a case of literally throwing vital finance out the window. A cost that should be avoided and goes straight to the bottom line of the company.
I then went to report my preliminary findings to the facilities manager who had called me in. So I knocked on the door of this cellular office and immediately observed, all the blinds drawn and the windows closed, and what appeared to be a reasonably comfortable office environment. So perhaps this manager had more sense but hadn’t observed what was happing in the offices occupied by the 28 other staff.
But, I’m afraid it gets worse. I realised that a fan heater was pumping out heat under the desk and that cold air was being deflected towards the ceiling from the split on the wall by the bit of card board that had been taped to the oscillating air vane. So I asked, why this was happening. The answer , “I can’t find the remote and I was too cold". At this point, I felt like screaming “you are all environmental terrorists!”. If it had been warmer and I hadn’t maintained my professional cool then perhaps I would have!
So can anyone top this for energy waste and madness ?
Seriously, this leads me on to think about why people behave in this fashion. It reminds me that all of us in the industry have a duty indeed it’s an opportunity to ensure we all go about educating people in how to operate, control and manage their own environment.
Perhaps we shouldn’t rely on common sense. Making people aware is a vital part of ensuring that people feel better and in control of the environment in their workplace. It is also vital that they understand that making efficient use of the plant and equipment provided to them, costs money to run and if not controlled and used properly will lead to their company wasting money and vital natural resources... and it could be their job on the line indirectly.