Sunday, 28 November 2010

It’s Their Money To Waste…

Shops that leave their doors open while keeping the heating on during the winter months could be using twice as much energy as necessary, a report claims.
And? So? This is a problem because..?
Murat Basarir, of the Engineering Department at Cambridge University, studied energy usage at two shops in the city – Rymans the stationer and the independent Cambridge Toy Shop.

Energy usage at Rymans was reduced by 54 per cent when doors were kept shut for a day, while the Cambridge Toy Shop saved 30 per cent.
Blimey! It took a study, by an engineer, to tell people that keeping the doors closed prevents heat escaping?

Did they think the shops didn’t know this? Why would they feel the need to tell them that?
A shop's carbon usage could be reduced by up to 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by shutting doors – the equivalent of three return flights from London to Hong Kong – according to the report.
Ah. Now I see…

Yes, indeed. It’s ecoloons again:
Jeannie Dawkins, director of the Close the Door campaign, which commissioned the research, said: “It's time for retailers to acknowledge the massive contribution they are making to energy waste and carbon emissions if they heat the street.

"By simply closing the shop door, carbon dioxide emissions dramatically decrease, energy bills are reduced, and customers and staff are made more comfortable. It’s a no-brainer.”
No, not quite. It’s a commercial decision, you see.

Shops are well aware that they are losing energy, but it’s a price they are prepared to pay in order to get people through the doors, where they will spend money. These are mainly drawn from the vast numbers of ordinary people who like to shop in warmth and comfort and who don’t mind if the doors remain open, indeed, they may welcome that warm rush of air as much as I welcome the cold blast you get on hot days.

If they wanted to entice in the tiny, tiny minority of hatchet-faced, mung-bean-eating cretins that would be impressed by this ostentatious display of obeisance to Gaia, they’d close the doors.

But they don’t. Because, when it comes right down to it, there’s not enough of you to keep a whelk stall in business!

Never mind a major multinational…

24 comments:

opsimath said...

quote: But they don’t. Because, when it comes right down to it, there’s not enough of you to keep a whelk stall in business!

And if there were enough to run one, it would be bankrupt by the end of the first day!

Anonymous said...

Jack Dee does a great piece about being bothered by cold callers asking him to switch to cheap gas and 'lecy. His response 'he doesn't want cheap landfill farty gas or wind farm electricity only good enough to heat vegetarian food, he's got a 50" plasma and wants nuclear, funnily enough they usually put the phone down on him‘.

Anonymous said...

Curiously enough there’s apparently enough energy from 1sq m of sunlight if collected to give anyone enough power to do what they want with no emissions. Pity there’d be little profit in it, lol

subrosa said...

Director of 'Close the Door Campaign.'? Now, the first thing that crosses my mind is how much is she paid. The other things which cross my mind I don't consider suitable for recording here.

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Jiks said...

Poor ecoloons running out of worthwhile things to campaign about.

In the past they could Stop the War or Save the Whale ... now they are reduced to Close the Door :)

NickM said...

It's the bizarre equivalences such as...

"A shop's carbon usage could be reduced by up to 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by shutting doors – the equivalent of three return flights from London to Hong Kong – according to the report."

...that always get me. I was taught at university (physics) to beware of weirdly precise numbers and this seems similar because a "true" measure of "carbon footprint" surely involves a staggering number of externalities. What if the store manager likes a nice tuna steak air-freighted from Sri-Lanka for dinner? It is a meaningless measure. What if she only buys fresh local stuff from the market and what if the market greengrocer though has one of those patio heaters at his outdoor stall... The regression is infinite.

"...now they are reduced to Close the Door :)"

Quite. If you asked me it should be "Out the Door". I mean Jeebus wept! Who hasn't as a kid been told by their granny to "put wood in hole" because of a draft! Next there will be campaigns saying, "Eat to much and you'll get fat"!

Oh, wait...

Ed P said...

Automatic sliding doors would reduce the heat loss (and larger stores already use them), without putting off the casual shopper. Perhaps this "study" has some vested interests in selling such doors?

Open all hours said...

When my mother had a small drapery business, in winter the customers would love to have a conversation while they held the door open on their way out. As they were in their thermals and overcoats and my mother wasn't, it bothered them not a jot that she was freezing and what heat there was went out of the shop.

That is the problem even now. You can try to be as efficient as you like but the darn customer will go and do something you don't like. Bit like all humans really; they just don't get how to be efficient and need to be constantly told.

Will we never learn? No, wait... if we did we wouldn't need all those well paid experts.

Akvavitix said...

"hatchet-faced, mung-bean-eating cretins "

Thank you JuliaM. Expect to see that in a Tweet of mine soon LOL

Angry Exile said...

"Jeannie Dawkins, director of the Close the Door campaign..."

Unfortunately yet to be driven out by the Shut Your Nannying Head Hole campaign.

Anonymous said...

bring it, no more oil, gas or electricity. i would fookin survive and i believe in a world without all that relies on it, much better! I just can't believe Armageddon is around the corner but if it is i'd deffo be better off and the stupid will eventually not be able to breed. try prison in a country with no real government on a bullshit charge then complain that your open door is going to kill the planet, lol. Mung bean farty pants lesbian hippies, you have no idea, trust.

SadButMadLad said...

@Ed P - Also rotating doors.

@NickM - If you want bizarre equivalences have a look at The Register's measurement units - http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

Umbongo said...

Well there's a surprise. According to the "Close the Door campaign" website "The Close the Door campaign originated in Cambridge (with initial funding from Cambridge City Council [my italics] for local print materials). I guarantee this waste of taxpayers' money will not be cut. BTW one of the principals of the campaign - Sian Reed - is a LibDem councellor and big supporter of 10:10 - you know, the campaign with the fun film suggesting that all climate change sceptics should be murdered.

KenS said...

Energy usage at Rymans was reduced by 54 per cent when doors were kept shut for a day, while the Cambridge Toy Shop saved 30 per cent.

But how was the number of customers affected? If not at all, then the report has a point to make. If the number of customers was decreased by shutting the doors, then the shopkeepers can make a simple calculation - is it worth it?

Anonymous said...

are pharmaceutical companies in business to save lives, no

is it in an energy companies interest for their customers to use less power, no

does any river or loch in Scotland flow as is was created by geological processes, no

does the human race live within natural environmental limits, no

WTF is wrong with people, nothing we see or do is natural, the only thing that is certain is that when nature decides the human race will end there is nothing we can do about it, so enjoy while you can

Anonymous said...

we comprehend the dynamics of 'our' planet about as clearly as an ant understands international law. the scale with which natural events occur regardless of human activity is beyond our comprehension or control. so if you like mung beans, good for fucking you, not my bag, i'll have a steak, bloody as hell thank you very much

Anonymous said...

more sulphur and carbon dioxide is produced by natural processes every day by underwater volcanoes than by humans over the past hundred years. the planet may well be heating up, the ice caps melting and the sea rising but it is a particularly self centred individual that thinks closing a door or using fossil fuels has any significant effect on the planet. we can have destructive effects like nuclear weapons, biological and chemical agents. we can change our local environment dramatically, the effects of human activity can be measured far away but taking these events in the context of the planet as a whole is a nonsense

The planet is not fragile. focus on a species, a particular element of a ecosysystem and we have and will destroy and create but life goes on regardless of our actions. I quite like tigers and seals but the planet doesn’t give two flying fucks wether they live or die.

ChrisB said...

You're missing the point!
....."Jeannie Dawkins, director of the Close the Door campaign, which commissioned the research" is an expert and as such is objective and impartial.
Any comments and suggestions by the business owners must be put aside since they are tainted a the greed for commercial gain rather than for the benefit of the Nation.
....That's how it goes for all pressure groups(experts) be it tobacco, alcohol, fast food or even those greenhouse gas producing cows.
If Jeannie gets further finance from an on-line retailer and influences an ambitious civil servant, MPs will be given their instructions and (permanently) closed doors will become compulsory.
It is estimated 150,000 fewer people will suffer trapped fingers, 125,000 fewer shoulder strains, over 1/2 a million tripping accidents and over a million children will avoid the distress of being unable to reach the handles. All this could prevent 2 million lost days of production and save the NHS 3.5 billion pounds of preventable expense. This single piece of legislation may make a sizeable contribution to our fight against the budget deficit left by the previous Government and reduce the financial burden for our grandchildren.
The Regulatory Impact Assessment, as prepared by our expert's experts, shows no downsides and no adverse financial costs of detrimental effects to business.
You know it makes sense but to allay commercial and public concerns we promise a review of the legislation in 3 Years time.

Anonymous said...

"A shop's carbon usage could be reduced by up to 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by shutting doors – the equivalent of three return flights from London to Hong Kong – according to the report. "
Well if you don't believe in Global warnings think of it as Klashnikovs that some Saudi can buy for the Taliban!

Anonymous said...

In our bit of australia an awful lot of shops and shopping centres have automatic doors . I never thought to ask wehy.

KenS said...

"Jeannie Dawkins, ..." is an expert

Expert. Ex = hasbean. Spert = a drip under pressure.

JuliaM said...

"And if there were enough to run one, it would be bankrupt by the end of the first day!"

Good point!

"Now, the first thing that crosses my mind is how much is she paid."

She'll be on a good enough whack that I doubt she needs to think twice before turning up the thermostat at home or in the office...

"It is a meaningless measure."

Except that thousands of people won't bother to think on it, of course...

"That is the problem even now. You can try to be as efficient as you like but the darn customer will go and do something you don't like."

Indeed! As Ed P points out, electric doors would seem to be a good solution.

JuliaM said...

"Unfortunately yet to be driven out by the Shut Your Nannying Head Hole campaign."

That's one campaign I'd sign up to!

"But how was the number of customers affected?"

The fact that they didn't think to collect this information makes me suspect that they knew in advance what the answer would be...