Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In our industry-sponsored dialogue with professionals from outside our industry, we had a couple of government-types and one NGO rep discuss with us the energy issue facing our country today.

While much of the presentations were rather technical to follow, we got the general idea that we are way too dependent on our neighbours for our sources of gas that powers our electrical generators that keep this wired nation humming. Like our water issue, our R&D experts are exploring other forms of power generation leaving no stone unturned in our quest for energy self-sufficiency. Interesting possibilities for our future, yes.

Meantime, we have to save what we can because we are running on finite resources. The second industry expert spoke to us at length about how his organization works to make buildings more energy-efficient. While we got lost in his diagrams, chart and tables, we met in him a guy who really takes pride in his work. With good old engineering know-how, a building's heating and cooling systems can be redesigned to reduce power consumption amounting to quite significant savings every year.

But it was the NGO rep that got our attention because he was talking about things within the household consumer's control -- that's us. He spoke about our behaviour as power consumers and laid out lots of eco-friendly options which we can make to live more responsibly. He spoke about the now compulsory labelling of appliances by his organization which appraises how energy-efficient they are (the more ticks the better); their efforts to educate the public with clean, green living; awards programmes and incentive schemes for organizations going eco-friendly (no school has won such an award yet, he said); and various opportunities for volunteer work.

In the wrap-up, we got the idea that both green initiatives and economic growth must balance each other. Pragmatic, as always, our colleagues in public service.

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