Monday, February 9, 2015

Learning Energy Efficiency won’t end with VIEW!

In my final days with San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, I look back at the last 8 months with heartfelt gratitude. It was here where I finally found a workplace in Fresno that I could call home. I experienced the lowest amount of work-related stress in 3 years as well as low employee turnover. Work stress and employee turnover are some of the workplace observations that are supremely important to me. I learned here tons of information about solar energy, Home Energy Tune-Up, and investor owned utility relations. 

I wanted to take a moment to discuss solar energy because ever since my boss informed me about EEMs: Energy Efficiency Measures, I now stare at roofs of houses that have solar panels on them. In case you hadn’t heard, EEMs are any kind of projects that reduces energy usage in any given building. For example, investing in double paned windows or an energy star washer/dryer would qualify as an EEM. When I pass by homes that have panels, I do a panel count and just by that alone, I think I can decipher whether the owners to these houses have in fact done their EEMs. For example, go to google maps and view the northeast corner of Friant and Audubon; click on earth view and do the count. Did they do their EEMs? I’ll let you decide.

I also wanted to share that my energy efficiency and renewable energy knowledge won’t end here with SJVCEO. Google has been working on driverless technology for several years. If you were to google “driverless car” you would discover innovation at its finest. These vehicles are operated completely by computers. As CBS news reported, these vehicles “can be programmed to not break traffic laws. They do not drink and drive. Their reaction times are quicker and they can be optimized to smooth traffic flows, improve fuel economy, and reduce emissions.”[1] Along with demonstrating innovation, Google is contributing to energy efficiency. Having computers doing the work on operating a car will clean up the freeways. Interstates 99 and 5, two freeways that cross the state of California will never look better. Better and safer driving practices will improve everything from emissions to traffic pattern. Can you picture what the Los Angeles’s 405 and 101 freeways would look like during rush hour? 

What I’ve learned from my experiences with solar energy and with driverless technology that energy efficiency needs to be approached responsibly (i.e. EEMs) and needs to be done now. Back to the Future’s Marty McFly traveled 30 years into the future: 2015 to be exact. The future is now. I believe that Google’s innovations are exemplary of forward progress and I’d like to think that Kings and Tulare counties have an opportunity to be exemplary in energy efficiency. We have the data and the sources, so let’s get on it.

It has been a pleasure. 

P.S. You have the power to conserve!

[1] “Could driverless cars do wonders for the economy?”, CBS News, accessed February 5, 2015,

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