1 min Read
July 9, 2010

Hot Town Summer in the City

Big Duck

Here at the Duck we’ve been experiencing the heat wave in a way completely unique to our New York location. We are a very tiny part of a very large power grid which, like the shaved ice guy, gets very sluggish during the heat. Or doesn’t show up to work at all. We’ve been fortunate enough to keep our power and our air conditioning while others haven’t been so lucky.

We did receive a handful of very spooky emails from ConEd which used words and phrases like “fires” and “true crisis mode”.Maybe most alarming was ConEd’s suggestion that we switch over to a generator, which we don’t have: “If you have an onsite generator, you should get on the generator power ASAP.”

Like most New Yorkers, we kept calm (sleepy in fact), drank some iced coffee and hoped for the best. Some folks took the opportunity to check-in to the Heatpocalypse 2010 on foursquare. And I saw at least five young men in our building grow long hair and eccentric facial hair in response to the crisis, sort of like they did in the 60s on a hot day:

More than mutton chops and iPhone apps, we continued on with our Vampire Duck electricity conservation program, now in its second year.

We’ve labeled all of our “vampire” appliances (which suck electricity even when shut off) and at the end of the day, we pull their plugs. We even shut down our computers, switch off our power strips, and… shut off the A/C (gasp!).

vampire duck label

We’ve found that like most folks, we don’t like to waste away in the heat. But, we also don’t like to use energy we don’t even know we’re using. Simple steps can make a big difference and perhaps the most valuable tool to fighting wasteful power usage is awareness.

What is your organization doing to keep energy usage down during the heat wave? Leave comments and tips below.