From Dollars To Donuts…

Energy. Everybody knows that it’s good (you know, for stuff like making coffee, frying sweet rings of dough and watching patriotic television commercials for fast-food chains) and that wasting it is bad (you know, for stuff like stinky air, wasting money and the end of civilization as we know it), but not a lot of people know what exactly energy is. Kibbitz about kilowatt-hours and people’s eyes start glazing over. Gab about a gigajoule and people in the back start nodding off. Banter about British thermal units and it’s more than likely you’ve lost friends and/or been disowned by family.

Oh, what’s a Manager of Energy and Environment to do? Especially since our early TLC – Care to Conserve energy saving numbers are in and…well we’re not exactly meeting our targets…yet. But of course…I’ll appeal to something that will resonate within people, something that will strike to the very soul of the matter, something that will spur people to cast off the shackles of energy wastage and become energy saving champions. Forget the polar bears and their melting ice-caps, never mind the estimated 40,000 ER visits, the over 4,500 hospital admissions and the $3.6 billion in direct and indirect costs that the Canadian and Ontario Medical Associations say are caused each year by poor air quality in Ontario…I’m talking about food!!!

So…UHN’s goal for 2011/12 is to save a little over 2.9 million kilowatt hours (bear with me here) by getting all of us to be a little more aware of turning off lights, computers, monitors and other equipment every time it’s not needed, such as at night, during lunch and weekends. Divide by around 11,000 UHNers and that works out to less than one gigajoule (hey you in the back…wake up!) per UHNer per year. And if you take into account holidays and weekends, that works out to be around 940 Calories (mmm, here comes the food part) per UHNer per work day.

Now, I’m not one to show favour to any specific purveyor of victuals, but for the sake of illustration, let’s imagine a place selling bean flavoured beverages and sweet hoops of dough that have been fried – well as it turns out, 940 calories per day is about the same as a chocolatey, walnuty piece of crunchy fried goodness (one of my favourites) paired with a large, creamy coffee-ish cup of slushy-iced deliciousness (another of my favourites)…which, as any Dietician will tell you, is waaaaaaay too much to eat for a snack. Which means…

It’s Time To Go On An Energy Diet

Now I’m not talking rice-cakes and alfalfa sprouts (which do have their moments, believe me) but rather a little more energy awareness by all in turning things off like we already do at home. In fact, we’ve narrowed it down to three easy ways in which you can Care to Conserve and help UHN save $1 million in utility costs this year:

1. Contact Energy & Environment to become a TLC Energy Champion.

2. Turn off – lights, coffee makers, computers, deep fryers, monitors, etc. – when not in use for extended periods.

3. Contact Energy & Environment to become a TLC Energy Champion.

And if we’re not in when you get in touch – fear not, we’ll be right back…we’ve just turned off the lights and stepped out for a snack.


Who’s Energy Dieting At UHN?

  • By encouraging and engaging co-workers to turn off lights and identifying areas for improving lighting efficiency through bulbs and switches, eHealth TLC Energy Champion Stefano has help cut his department’s lighting, computer and equipment electricity use by 40%. Congratulations Stefano, to the eHealth Green Team and the rest of the department in helping lead the way.

Links To The Inside (only works on UHN network computers)

Links To The Outside

  • Forty-Thousand ER visits, the over 4,500 hospital admissions and the $3.6 billion (yup, that’s billion with a “b”) in direct and indirect costs –