Climate change opinion piece

Recent well-publicized reports such as the IPCC AR5, U.S. National Climate Assessment, and UN Environment Programme’s emissions gap study paint a disturbingly convincing picture of the harmful impacts of climate change on our planet and the urgent need to mitigate global warming. Despite their sobering data and conclusions, the reports also offer reasons to be hopeful if humanity acts quickly to put the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy consumption, and transition to a clean energy economy and sustainable built environment.

Although it may seem overwhelming, each of us can be part of the climate solution through our actions. One of the easiest ways is by reducing energy consumption and using it more efficiently. For example, if every household replaced their old incandescent lightbulbs with more energy-efficient lighting products such as LEDs, it would provide the equivalent of taking millions of internal combustion cars—and their carbon emissions—off the road. While saying “change a lightbulb, save the world” might be a stretch, small-scale energy efficiency actions do make a cumulative difference.

Businesses also can play a major role in slowing down climate change, and a growing number are doing just that. And there’s a bonus: not only do companies soften their environmental impact by switching to green energy sources and becoming more efficient in their energy use, they also lower their operating expenses and save money. Industrial companies spend 15% or more on energy, so there’s plenty of room for improvement. Apple, IKEA, Toyota and other major brands have made big moves toward becoming more energy efficient and implementing more climate-ready energy systems.  

For consumers and businesses, one of the key questions to answer on the road to becoming more energy efficient and climate friendly is, how is their energy being used? Without the ability to gain insights into energy usage, it’s very difficult to make the changes necessary to do one’s part in combating climate change and reducing energy costs.

The solution lies in monitoring that energy consumption data and turning that data into action. Energy service companies that provide comprehensive smart energy monitoring and control solutions to their residential and commercial customers stand to increase their sales and polish their own climate action reputations. That’s where Smappee can help. 

Smappee collects data from the overall big-picture view all the way down to the individual appliance. Its suite of control tools, like the Smappee Switch, Smappee App and Smappee Pro dashboard, help enhance energy efficiency at many levels. All Smappee monitors are API-friendly, meaning they can easily transfer and share data with other data processing software that service providers might be using to offer additional insights into energy consumption and create and implement energy saving measures for their clients.

Energy service companies can help their customers feel good about saving money and helping the environment by offering the kind of smart insights that will help homeowners and businesses optimize how much energy they use and when they use it, thus reducing their consumption, lowering their energy bills and lessening their climate impact.

Reduced climate impact via energy efficiency can be assessed throughout an enterprise too, whether it’s across the operations of multiple company sites or focused on one company site. The results can be surprising, as some of our customers have found.

One of our major clients, the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), uses Smappee to map the energy consumption in an increasing number of its offices worldwide and proactively takes energy-saving measures based on that data and analyses. As a result of the energy efficiency insights delivered by the Smappee monitoring toolkit and subsequent actions to change employee behavior and upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances, WWF has been able to reduce energy consumption by up to 50% and save many thousands of dollars annually. When combined with the ongoing deployment of solar PV systems, the organization now offsets thousands of tons of carbon emissions, thus becoming a modest but noteworthy part of the climate change solution.