Most of us have missed it, but washers have come a long way in the past couple of years – current models use about half the energy that old ones do. Mostly this is because they also use less water than older models: about 80 percent of the electricity washers use goes toward heating the water, so less water is key.
With all the hype about “greening the IT sector” and Silicon Valley companies’ attempts to showcase their clean tech efforts especially at their data centers, I couldn’t help but hold Microsoft’s feet to the fire when its global sustainability director TJ DiCaprio was honored with an award at this week’s Climate Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.
She was the only person from a big IT company among the award recipients, and there weren’t too many other Silicon Valley folks at the conference overall – a great chance for some good press, but it made me wonder about Microsoft’s status among the big IT companies that are all working hard to green their image these days…is there a clear sign who is ahead of the pack?
Since California’s cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases officially entered into force this year, many have focused on its cost to businesses – particularly energy companies and industry. Those firms now have to pay for each tonne of greenhouse gas they emit into the atmosphere, either by buying allowances for those emissions at state-run auctions or by buying the allowances from each other. While this is a cost for businesses, California consumers will actually start seeing some rewards – even in disadvantaged communities.
“Already next year power consumers in California will get ‘climate dividends’ – every household will see a share of the proceeds” said Brian Turner of the state’s Air Resources Board at yesterday’s Climate Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. Turner was referring to a portion of the cash paid for allowances at the auctions that the state actually sends back to households in the form of a check at the end of the year.