Friday, June 15, 2007

Even Wal-Mart goes green

Whether you like Wal-Mart stores or not, the company, like many others, is implementing green technology to save costs and be more environmentally friendly. That's good for Wal-Mart and good for everyone else. Turning off lights and tv's during late night hours are visible steps to help save energy. Some of the major savings realized are:

* By selling recycled cardboard and plastic, Wal-Mart stands to make $28 million a year.
* By reducing packaging on its Kid Connection toy line, Wal-Mart will use 720 fewer freight containers per year, saving $3.5 million a year.
* By simply changing light bulbs in its ceiling fan displays to energy-efficient, compact fluorescent lights, Wal-Mart stands to save $7 million a year.

News and Observer
June 15, 2007
Sue Stock, Staff Writer

Wal-Mart cutting energy use
Rethink, reuse, reduce waste - Changes affect stores worldwide

Wal-Mart stores are turning off their TVs and dimming the lights between midnight and 6 a.m.

Those are just two of the dozens of changes the company is making as part of an aggressive plan to reduce waste and make its stores more environmentally friendly.

The green initiative will save Wal-Mart millions on energy bills and in some cases reap it a tidy profit.

And, like most things the giant retailer does, it's having a big ripple effect throughout the retailing industry.

Manufacturers are changing product designs to comply with Wal-Mart's changing demands.

Suppliers are changing distribution routes to help save gas.

And smaller food markets that did not directly compete with Wal-Mart are suddenly facing the retailer's notoriously strong muscle head on. Read more...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Electric energy savings with diesel

Diesel power generation can help lower costs for electric energy during peak demand periods. Metretek Technologies of Wake Forest, NC, provides remote control services to activate diesel generators and help businesses reduce dependence on electric companies when demand and cost is higher.

Defenders say "generators help the environment by relieving energy demand and delaying the need to build more power plants". Another view is that "in the nation's energy equation, dirty diesel is just a different shade of green".

News and Observer
June 13, 2007
John Murawski, Staff Writer

Generating savings on diesel

It's another sweltering summer afternoon and legions of air conditioners are maxing out the region's electricity supply.

That's the cue for 135 Food Lion grocery stores to temporarily stop buying electricity from their local utilities.

Instead, the Food Lions, along with hundreds of other heavy electricity users, crank up their own power sources: diesel generators as big as industrial trash bins.

Temporarily disconnecting from the power grid when electricity prices are at their highest can cut a store's annual energy bill in half.

Energy self-reliance is increasingly appealing to big business, for practical reasons.

But as public concern about global warming is renewing focus on renewables such as solar and wind, some companies are taking alternative energy in a different direction. Read more...