Meet Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director of Clean Initiatives at ACRE/Urban Future Lab/Powerbridge.

  1. Share you favorite energy factoid.
    Unfortunately Americans spend only 7 minutes each year thinking about their energy consumption, according to Accenture. This means we have a lot of evangelizing to do.
  2. What energy conservation campaign would you start in your office or want to share with other offices?
    The simplest thing to change might be the management of computer CPU and monitor use –
    • Desktops consume 60-250 watts
    • LCD monitors between 20-40 watts when on (even in sleep-mode they consume about 2 watts.)
    I should probably encourage my colleagues to enable their automatic power savings settings. There is no significant impact on computer life. Don’t use screen savers. Mostly they are performing for your empty desk. Why does an empty desk really need to see your cute cat/kid pics? Also, do we really need more than one monitor? Here a link to more information on the DOE website. Here is the link to all of this on DOE website.
  3. What are you reading right now?
    I am currently reading Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by my friend, Pamela Newkirk. She outlines the horrific historical fact of the exposition (read “imprisonment for display purposes”) of an African “Pygmy” at the Bronx Zoo in 1906. Most importantly, she describes how and why this was considered acceptable in NYC a half century after slavery ended. It is an unbelievable story. Not long ago, when traveling in Africa, I read King Leopold’s Ghost by Hochscild. The two together are a jaw dropping account of the Western World’s complete lack of humanity in our views and treatment of Africa in recent history. It is an appalling record. Energy efficiency isn’t the only struggle we face. Reading a story like that makes one feel very lucky to be born here, living this life, at this time.
  4. What are some ways you reduce your carbon footprint at home?
    We are fortunate to live in a 1906 building, which was built so that we have 3 exposures, including the courtyard. This allows for excellent cross ventilation. If only buildings were built this way today! Real estate prices today mean that we no longer build with an air shaft or courtyard (maybe that should be mandated as part of new energy codes…) Because we have real cross ventilation, we never need to use our window ACs. We probably only turn them on three evenings a year. I would recommend to others who don’t have courtyards, and need to use ACs more often, to use ThinkEco’s Modlet solution. It allows you to turn any appliance on/off from your smart phone, enact energy savings and peak load reduction strategies, interact with ConEd, and reduce your carbon emissions.
  5. What is your personal superpower?
    Years of listening to NPR, while also reading the paper and simultaneously eating my breakfast, while ignoring the kitchen chaos of the family, has trained me to be absolutely un-distractable. A bomb could go off at my desk and I would not notice. Same is true of sleeping. Sirens/thunder/snoring– I never notice.

Want the latest news from Building Energy Exchange?

Sign Up Below For Updates