Energy Diet

Make a Difference

So the energy diet is nearing the end, and in the 8 weeks I’ve managed to complete a
number of tasks showing that I can make a difference and reduce my energy usage
and more importantly, wastage. The initial score at the start of the diet was
235 points and that has now moved up to 445 points – nothing to get excited
about, but worth highlighting that if everyone made an effort to change their
habits, we could have a significant change for the good.

EnergyDiet Scorecard

The improvements in each of the six categories on the scorecard are shown in
the before and after graphs (left). Areas for further improvement can be achieved in Waste Disposal and Reduction, as well as Transportation.

National Geographic asked the question: What is the worst example of energy waste you’ve seen? Users were asked to respond on Twitter using the hashtag #energydiet. You can read more about this on their blog. What are your thoughts on the replies given?
In my opinion, some of the biggest wastes that I’ve noticed are:

Close to home (municipalities):

  • Street lights burning during the day;
  • Reported water leaks that are only repaired days later;
At the office:
  • Air-conditioners running with the windows wide open;
  • Delivery vehicles idling while goods are offloaded;
  • Urns left to boil all day even though a meeting is not scheduled;
  • Lights left on in the evening when no-one is at the office.
At home:
  • Garden irrigation running while it’s raining (a rain sensor is a minimal cost in relation to the whole setup cost);
  • TV’s left on when people are in another room;
  • Over-filling the kettle and then bring it to the boil several times;
  • Leaking water taps – I measured one leak, 27 drops per minute @ 0,5ml per drop equals 19.44 litres per day, or 591.3 litres per month. Using a dropper to collect the water, 20 drops gave 10ml.
On the road, or in the air:
  • People that travel 30-40Km (19-25mi) to buy a product that are on-sale. The fuel bill alone is more than the difference in price, not to mention the running cost of the vehicle;
  • Using courier companies to move items around the country because of poor planning, or because society wants the items immediately. Will it really make a difference it you get it one day later on a consolidated delivery?;
  • Flights operating a few times per day with only a few passengers on-board (not sure how they can resolve this).


  1. Christina Nunez
    December 19, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Wow Gerald, nice scorecard! You have brought so much to this effort and it’s been really valuable to have you participating. Thank you.