AllEarth Renewable’s REWIRE Program Inspires Employees To Consume Less

AllEarth RenewablesGreat story from FastCompany.com, “Carbon Taxing Your Own Employees To Improve Their Energy Use,” about AllEarth Renewables’ effort to motivate employees to reduce the amount of energy they consume.

How it works
At the start of the year, AllEarth Renewables gives each employee $6,000 to cover their annual driving, electricity and heating costs. Whatever they consume over that amount, they have to return to the company. The program was implemented at the start of 2012 and AllEarth Renewables’ Public Affair’s Manager, Andrew Savage, hopes it’s an idea that will be copied by other companies. From the start, employees worked together to develop ideas on how to cutback their personal energy consumption. The program was so effective, it even changed one employee’s car buying decision to a more fuel efficient diesel vehicle.

In addition to cutting back how much energy co-workers consume, probably the best feature of AllEarth Renewable’s REWIRE program is that it’s a great morale builder. Staff members working together and motivating each other to consume less electricity. If we gave out Jubbys, AllEarth Renewables would be our first recipient. [FastCo.Exist]

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Cow Dung To Project Moonshot: From The Mind Of HP’s Chandrakat Patel

Cow Dung Powered Data Center Sketch - Chandrakat PatelWired.com had another interesting article and this one was about the rise of Chandrakat Patel at Hewlett Packard. What’s different about this story is that Mr. Patel’s success has more to do with capturing and converting the dung when a cow goes plop than it has to do with gigaflops. HP? Crap catchers? Not completely. What Mr. Patel is doing is looking at how to create it and conserve energy at the data center level.

Creating power is where the cows come in. The image drawn by Mr. Patel at the top kind of explains it all. The data centers alone do not run hot enough to drive a generator but they do produce enough heat to get the manure kicking out some good methane. The methane would then be used to power the data center. Very simple.

Next is conserving power and that would be the job of HP’s Project Moonshot. Project Moonshot wants to change the data center of today by moving away from bigger servers with multiple chips and faster processors to smaller servers that are driven by thousands of low-power processors. Basically, they want to use many ants to do the work of a Goliath beetle. From the Wired.com article:

“HP Labs and Mr. Patel thinks its Project Moonshot servers will use 94 percent less space than the servers you typically see in data centers and they’ll burn 89 percent less energy.”

Whether they’re getting their energy from clean or dirty sources, data centers are huge consumers of electricity. According to a report from Greenpeace, data centers consume 1.5 – 2% of all electricity produced worldwide and they’re growing at rate of 12% per year (PDF); as consumers of power, data centers rank 5th in the world.

The Jubbling is as obvious as our inability to write about techie stuff. Hopefully ideas like Mr. Patels and HP’s Project Moonshot can help data centers run more efficiently and maybe reverse their energy consumption trend. [Wired.com]

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