Monday, August 6, 2007

Agreement for Efficiency Standards

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy announced last month that transformer equipment manufacturer ABB has agreed to increase the efficiency of its transformers, which are installed on countless electric poles throughout the country. The Council estimates that improving the transformers' efficiency could save 26 billion kilowatt-hours annually, which according to their numbers is enough electricity to power 2.3 million U.S. households in 2005. The savings will reduce annual emissions from electric power plants by 15 million metric tons, about equal to the average annual emissions of 2.7 million automobiles.

The agreement gives helpful insight into the importance of efficiency standards and the crucial role of corporations, manufacturers, government bodies, and environmental groups in promoting efficiency. A change in the manufacturing standards of one type equipment has the potential to reduce U.S electricity use by 2%.


Calvin Jones said...

You realise that the original meaning of factoid is...

"something fictitious or unsubstantiated that is presented as fact, devised esp. to gain publicity and accepted because of constant repetition."

Although, it has been used in the sense that you intend repeatedly in recent times.

Lilia Ford said...

Thank you for your comment. I looked up the word in the OED, which cited Norman Mailer is its inventor: “Factoids..that is, facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority.” Perhaps ironically, given my blog’s name, I have found that in the green blogosphere, much that passes for fact is really just factoids in Mailer’s sense. In defense of my selection, those definitions date from the 1970s, which might as well be the 1770s as far as our language is concerned. Both journalism, especially blogs, and popular cultural forms like rap have obviously accelerated what historically has always been a surprisingly rapid process of semantic evolution, and one especially characteristic of English. As an English professor, I cannot help but marvel at our language’s malleability, and the rapidity with which it adds words and connotations to words. This tremendous creativity is offset by a corresponding tendency of other words to lose meanings or precision with time.

Would that our other resources were so sustainable.