Monday, 21 February 2011
An article on the BBC News website has suggested that the way people use and live in their homes has been largely ignored by existing efforts to improve energy efficiency.
The article which quotes research conducted by Katy Janda, a senior researcher for the UK Energy Research Centre's (UKERC) Energy Demand theme, suggests that we need to remember that there is a human side to how we live in our homes and use energy, and not everything can be addressed simply by technology.
The energy from people’s homes accounts for one quarter of the energy so it is essential that we fully understand the best to way to reduce our usage, and provide a solution which is easy for people to understand and action.
Quoting the ‘Information Deficit Model’, Janda compares our energy use to supermarket shopping, by quoting research that suggests that when people are not given prices for individual items when they shop, but just a total amount at the end of each month, they find it difficult to know where to make savings. The same principle can be applied to energy use. Many people find it difficult to reduce their energy as they don’t know where they can make savings.
One suggestion for improving this is ‘information gap’ is the use of feedback monitors, such as smart meters, which can show a homeowner can see how they are using energy, which is more important for reduction than the amount of energy being used.
Do you use a smart meter in your home? If not, do you think it would help to reduce your energy use?
Click here to read the full article.
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Last week, Defra revealed that 40% of rubbish was recycled during the 12 months before June 2010, which is a 0.4% rise on the year before March 2010, and although this rise is small, it indicates 2.3% less waste.
How much do you recycle?
Websites such as www.recyclethis.co.uk give lots of tips and advice for reusing and recycling, and even offer help with reducing how much power you use. At Adessi we are all doing our bit to recycle all our paper, crisp packets and plastic bottles, but I think the focus should not only be on recyling, but reducing and reusing too.
If you have any tips for reducing and reusing in an office we would love to hear them!
Thursday, 10 February 2011
How aware of climate change are you? According to recent surveys around 70% of Britons believe that global warming is caused by human activity, compared to less than half of Americans, but 80% of Brazilians. Brazilians also seem to be on par with Europeans in their belief that global warming is happening and is important, with only 10% disagreeing in both cases. It has commonly been assumed that there is a lack of understanding of climate change in the developing world, but these results suggest otherwise.
“Brazilians remain upbeat about the future. Almost half of the interviewees said it was possible to reconcile environmental concerns and development, and more than a third agreed that all countries should contribute equally to emissions reductions — regardless of whether they are rich or poor.” (from http://www.scidev.net/en/news/brazil-beats-us-in-climate-change-awareness.html)
More than 2,000 Brazilians responded to the survey published December 2010, conducted by the National Confederation of Industries.
Our understanding of climate change and our belief in its effects on the world were further highlighted in the BBC documentary: Meet the Climate Sceptics, which aired Monday 31st January on BBC4. The film featured Lord Christopher Monckton touring the world, and broadcasting the key arguments against man-made global warming: Do we have evidence that we are heating up the atmosphere or are we dealing with science we don’t fully understand?
In the end Mr Monckton’s claims were found to have significant gaps in evidence and were not scientifically accurate.
You can watch Meet the Climate Sceptics on BBC iPlayer here.
So after an increasingly turbulent year in global weather patterns what do you think about climate change?