April 2010 home page

  Del Mar Energy Deposit
Dan Nore | 25th Street


Why not walk to the bank, or to Starbucks? You’ll use up calories
and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Photo Art Olson

The City of Del Mar recently took advantage of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The proposed project involves computer server virtualization in the City’s data center. The multiple servers in the data center, including the dedicated HVAC, operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The room is kept at 68 degrees year round. Based on conservative estimates, the direct energy savings from the project will result in a 24% reduction of annual electricity use at the City Hall site and save $5,600. The $25,000 grant application was submitted in January and final approval is expected in the coming weeks.

Energy conservation is a good thing since it reduces costs, the generation of green house gases, and in some situations lessens our nation’s dependency on foreign oil. What the recent EECBG project also demonstrated is that energy conservation actions are not just about the energy savings.

Del Mar City staff and the Energy Issues Advisory Committee researched viable grant options in the fall of 2009. Server virtualization was finally selected as it exceeded the California Energy Commission’s energy savings criteria and also provided Del Mar with many operational benefits. Emily Bernardo, Computer Operations Manager for the City, determined that the IT project would provide added value through lower maintenance costs, reduced space requirements, centralized IT management, improved business continuity and disaster recovery options, allow future scalability, and minimize the number of end-of-life servers that need to be replaced every five to six years. Annual electricity cost savings will be $5,600 - a contribution towards addressing Climate Change, and numerous operational benefits!

If one looks closely, all sorts of energy saving actions have added benefits. Walking or biking saves gas but also provides exercise, reduces stress, relieves road congestion, and eliminates the often frustrating hunt for parking. Comparative travel times, calories consumed, and heart rate levels for a 1.6 mile round-trip from my home to Union Bank in Downtown Del Mar illustrates the added health benefits of saving gas. Biking added only 2.5 minutes compared to driving a car, burned 65 calories versus a lowly 11 calories in a car, and beneficially raised my resting heart rate. Biking also eliminated a car from Camino Del Mar and did not require parking near our busy Starbucks.

City IT Power Project annual savings of $5,600 is also a contribution
towards Climate Change. Photo illustration Art Olson


We all can reduce our carbon footprint (save energy) in small ways and benefit personally. Eat locally grown food, avoid single use plastic containers, and walk instead of driving. Remember the motivation can be more than just the energy savings.



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