Carl Greene has worked with the Philadelphia Housing Authority since 1998 and immediately put energy efficiency on his to-do list for improvements. Greene puts federal funding for programs to best use by making sure preventive repair and maintenance is performed on all buildings. He strongly believes in making an investment in energy efficiency for long-term savings and smart use of resources.
Q. What’s the first step a business should take in evaluating its energy-efficiency trouble areas?
If a business isn’t using compact fluorescent bulbs, they’re really losing out. This is a step you don’t need anyone’s help to accomplish. But for the big picture, having an outside company perform an audit is very valuable. Consolidating servers can reduce energy use and an evaluation of other utilities and electronics will help determine where you need to work on energy efficiency and form a strategy.
Q. Why is it important for companies to be more energy-efficient?
Rates are going up. In 2010, Philadelphia’s electric will be deregulated. The rates are expected to rise considerably, and that means you’ll have to use less energy just to pay the same amount you’re paying today. Focusing on lowering consumption now will place you in a good position when the increases hit, and it’s just good habit. Any additions and new construction should be built for efficiency. Existing buildings should be checked for poor windows that leak energy as well as key spots energy is used in high volume.
Q. What is a green practice that overlaps energy efficiency?
Green roofs are invaluable. I really like the idea of flat-roofed buildings having a grass top and flower beds. This helps retain water so it doesn’t run off into the sewer, and it helps maintain the interior temperature of a building. Other green practices, such as using natural light as much as possible through skylights and windows, will save on electricity. Adopting a new way of operating and approaching business will be a must when it comes to energy. The need for energy conservancy is a sign of the times that cannot be ignored.