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I apologize if you're reading this first thing in the morning, but have to ask you to look at how much you spent last year on energy and compare that to how much you made in profits. If the numbers make you want to crawl back under the covers, you're not alone.
Indeed, the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions asks similar questions of the participants in its reSources 2012 survey, and reported 90 percent of businesses having set goals to save on energy over the coming years.
The survey identifies three distinct types of businesses. There are the 'pioneers' who become involved in energy management as a result of a push from their customers. The 'engagers' are those who are coming to terms with the need for change and energy regulations but continue to grapple with the difficulties involved in making any adjustments. Then there are the 'reactors' who are less concerned with impact to the environment or society from poor decisions regarding energy. Their primary motivator is cost savings.
This U.S. national survey, being only in its second year and based on one-on-one interviews with senior executives in business, combined with 600 interviews with other business decision makers conducted online, found that this year the amount of engagers grew to half of those surveyed. There were increases in pioneers and a reduced number of reactors, evidencing a continued realization that management of energy is essential for business survival.
The survey also reported most companies planning to cut consumption and reduce energy use by 25 percent over the next three-to-five years, with 85 percent of those interviewed viewing reducing electricity costs as vital to their continued existence. This year, 63 percent noted that their customers are driving demand for energy considerate options, which is a 14 point increase over the year prior, with an 11 point increase to 76 percent of businesses being involved in the promotion of environmentally conscious products.
Though this survey was conducted in the U.S., I believe it certainly reflects the sentiments of local business persons who currently pay rates that are three to four times those of U.S. counterparts. There continues to be no government or utility-led incentive programs. Although we have seen the relaxation or elimination of custom duties on some sustainable items, there appears to be some lingering confusion as recently played out in the debate in the media surrounding composite LED fixtures. Regardless, there continues to be much that we as individual business can do, especially by way of low and no cost measures, to manage consumption. However, investments that require large capital outlay continue to be delayed in a sluggish economy. Additionally, one of the hurdles identified by U.S. businesses surveyed is employee buy in, but I believe this can be handled by implementing training programs that inform how employees can save energy for their companies as well as for themselves.
So what label best describes your business? Are you a reactor, engager or a pioneer?
Reader feedback: In response to my article about Efficient Windows, Catherine reminded me that these windows only help with security protection if they are fully closed and this would force her to have to burn air-conditioning all day. She prefers to use white blinds, burglar bars and Bahama Shutters.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sonia Brown is principal of Graphite Engineering Ltd. and is a registered professional engineer.
My Government is delighted by the successful conclusion of this first phase of the redevelopment of the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
Many congratulations are in order: to the Airport Authority and its Chairman Hon. Frank Watson and all Board members; to the Nassau Airport Development Company, its former President and CEO, Craig Richmond, and its current President and CEO Stewart Steeves, to their executive and support staff; and to Vancouver Airport Services, the project manager for the redevelopment.
For more than a year news of Andre Birbal and stories of abuse have been published and talked about.
During that time Birbal was extradited from New York, a special committee decided that teachers should have reported what they knew about alleged sexual abuse at the school and a jury spent a little more than four hours deciding Birbal was guilty.
Bahamas Local has compiled a list of the stories surrounding Birbal's story and his conviction.