At Home: PowerCost Monitor keeps Canadians informed about their energy costs
Canada’s Blue Line Innovation has presented a new PowerCost Monitor system that will enable households to closely watch their energy consumption; the hope is that once put under such close surveillance, energy use will go down.
The main drive behind this proposal is the fact that the PowerCost Monitor will show households exactly what their energy use is costing them–users interviewed on CTV News said that their consumption went down by about 10 to 20% following the instalment of the device. A reviewer featured on the Blue Line Innovation website (1) claimed that his energy consumption actually plummeted 40% this winter in comparison to the winter before; a stunning claim despite his admission that he and his wife spent less time in the cold basement this year.
The Monitor comes in two parts: the actual system that connects to your utility meter, usually outside, and the display monitor that sits inside the home and shows the amount of energy being used at any time. Thanks to a per-hour cost display on the monitor, users are apparently drawn to find out what each appliance costs them per hour and to spend hours switching lights and machines on and off to calculate the difference to the energy bill. The company, as well as reviewers, make the device out to be an addictive and positive influence on their lives; Blue Line Innovation is looking into widespread instalment of the Monitor throughout Canada.
If this were the case, Canadians would all be faced directly with their energy consumption in perhaps the only way it might have an impact: a constant preview of the cost. There are a lot of us who might not care in the least about energy reduction in terms of the environment, but we’re all tightwads at heart. It just might work.
(1) Electrical Business. “A simple tool for reducing energy consumption.” http://www.bluelineinnovations.com/downloads/EBM03March2007.pdf
In Foreign News: Greenpeace protests in Berlin to stop whaling
CTV announced that protests this week in Berlin marked the start of a heightened campaign by Greenpeace against world whaling laws. Activists laid out 17 small whale and dolphin carcasses on the street to draw attention to the fact that that many of the animals were being killed every half hour all over the world. The group hoped that the shock tactic would work its way into people’s consciences so that more protesters could be gathered together for the main event on May 27 in Alaska.
Greenpeace says, via its website (1), that it is merely looking for the members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to start paying more attention to the deaths of whales and dolphins than they have been. According to the protest group, IWC members have made baby steps toward more humane policies but have failed to acknowledge the fact that their policies have frailties that continue to cause deaths in the oceans each day.
The protest came just before the IWC meeting in Alaska on May 27; to draw more attention to their campaign Greenpeace urged people internationally to don a blue T-shirt and support the Big Blue March on that day. The protest was expected to be carried out in cities across the world and the IWC will face harsh criticisms if it fails to revise outdated policies that leave dolphins and whales at the mercy of regional hunting techniques.
(1) Greenpeace, 2007. “17 whale deaths every 30 minutes.” http://weblog.greenpeace.org/makingwaves/archives/2007/05/17_whale_deaths_every_30_minut.html#more