26 Jan IoEnergy 2020 Year in Review
2020 YEAR IN REVIEW – WHERE DO WE START?
2020. What a year. One of the most common ways we hear it described is as a dumpster fire. Or a dumpster fire in a flood. Or the lovechild of a dumpster fire and a train wreck….the list of ways we refer to the trials and complications of 2020 goes on and on.
2020 was a year of political unrest occurring at levels previously unseen in the US for generations. It was a year of social unrest resulting from the unavoidable consequences of systemic racism. It was a year in which we suffered from a global pandemic and US mitigation efforts so mismanaged that death rates have surpassed thel US deaths in all of World War II (407,000), making the US one of the hardest hit countries in the world.
It was a year in which a huge shift occurred in the way we work and communicate. The word “zoom” has taken on a whole new meaning. Parents are juggling the management of home-based education for their kids with their own daily remote work tasks. And while stay-at-home restrictions are at varied levels of stringency depending on the state, across the US movie theaters and entertainment facilities like amusement parks and concert venues are closed, restaurants and hotels have limited service, and major sporting events are often conducted in isolation. The global economy has been severely impacted and millions in the US have faced and are still facing housing and food insecurity due to unemployment.
Meanwhile, according to the World Meteorological Association, 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, with ocean temperatures higher than ever and levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere continuing to rise despite the changes in travel brought on by Covid-19. Wildfires here in California and elsewhere across the globe that raged bigger, hotter, and larger were countered by record numbers of hurricanes.
In short, 2020 was difficult for both people and planet.
Despite All the Darkness, There Was Also Light
In reviewing 2020 it is easy to see the year as nothing but horrible, and while it’s undeniable that there was a lot of horrible, there were also some positives that, we believe, will have lasting impacts.
2020 WAS A TIME FOR REFLECTION AND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
The social unrest surrounding the murder of George Floyd by a police officer has forced us as a nation to really examine and acknowledge the systemic racism that weaves like an ugly thread through the fabric of our society. Here at IoEnergy, we’ve been challenged to assess our own assumptions, ignorance and passive acceptance of the status quo, and from this examination, we’ve had to acknowledge our own shortcomings and commit to doing better from here.
Find out more about our commitment to do better:
2020 was a Time for Improving Infrastructure to Protect Worker Health
The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a lot of changes to the way we operate our buildings. Many companies were able to move their employees to remote, home-based work, but there are millions of essential workers who have to be at the store or the factory or the distribution hub, or the hospital, no matter what. We have had to develop systems for protecting these essential workers as much as possible from the health threats that come with working in close quarters with others.
Because of this, conversations around indoor air quality standards are in the spotlight and clean air technology usually reserved for highly sensitive environments is now being implemented in workplaces and community gathering places of every ilk. And while it’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic to push these technologies into widespread application, it’s better late than never. The wellness benefits that can result from greater use of HVAC UV-C light sanitization and other germicidal air purification may provide protection from the current Covid-19 outbreak and future health threats yet to be determined, and this protection is the least we can do to keep our workplaces safe.
We expect that in the coming years, building code upgrades will include improvements to air quality standards, and we also expect that building owners looking to be competitive in the rental markets of the future will need to upgrade their buildings with clean air technologies. These changes, beneficial to human health across the board, may come to be the norm, rather than the exception, and we believe that that’s a win for everyone.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO HELPING CREATE SAFER, CLEANER INDOOR WORK ENVIRONMENTS
Here at IoEnergy, we quickly transitioned our products and services to help our clients implement the building readiness solutions designed to protect essential workforces from undue exposure to the coronavirus. We’re extremely proud of the teamwork demonstrated by our staff, our partners and our suppliers, and we thank them for their tireless work under unprecedented circumstances.
The past year tested our abilities and our expertise as we found new ways to be of service to our clients when they needed us most. The challenge further solidified our commitment to and belief in the vital importance of environmental stewardship – whether it comes in the form of micro-environments like a building or a factory or macro environments like the planet, itself. We’ve seen in real time how a healthy environment directly impacts society in ways both large and small, proving, once again, that environmentally responsible business practices truly are the only one’s worth pursuing.
Find out more about IoEnergy’s HVAC UV-C light sanitization solutions here:
2020 was a Time for Private Industry to Step Up and Fight Climate Change
Despite all the turmoil of 2020 and the clear lack of leadership in the fight against climate change, we were again impressed by the efforts that private industry made to improve general building efficiency, reducing carbon footprints, meeting sustainability objectives and combating climate change with or without help from the federal government.
With the economy in turmoil, the financial case for energy efficiency was stronger than ever for industries including warehouse and distribution, packaging and shipping, healthcare, manufacturing and food production. Businesses across the country continued their investment in updating old lighting technology, installing smart sensors, and upgrading other building intelligences. These efforts demonstrate how working across ideological lines to achieve a common goal is good for everyone.
The private sector’s interest in sustainability stems from many different motivations, but the end result is a win for the economy, society, and the environment. The collaborative efforts, initiated outside of government mandates, serve as an example of the good that can come from working together regardless of ideology or the political opinion of the moment.
IoEnergy clients alone invested in energy efficiency upgrades totaling more than 21 million kWh of annual energy savings.
HERE’S A LIST OF OUR 2020 SAVINGS HIGHLIGHTS DEMONSTRATING THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR CLIMATE-FORWARD BUILDING UPGRADES:
Energy Cost Savings
HVAC Cost Savings
Maintenance Cost Savings
Years Average PAYBACK
HERE’S A LOOK AT THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT OF THESE UPGRADES:
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Equivalent to:
Passenger Cars Driven for One Year
CO2 Reduction Equivalent to:
Million Pounds of Coal Burned
Barrels of Oil Consumed
Billion Smartphone Charges
As we begin 2021, We Look Forward with Optimism & Hope
If the first weeks of January are any indication of the year to come, we expect 2021 to be filled with equal, if not more challenges that 2020. But we also hope that 2021 will be a year of transitioning into better health, better leadership, better economic prospects and better days in general. We hope that as the Covid-19 vaccine creates herd immunity and a return to normalcy, we can focus on addressing the societal issues that continue to plague our workplaces and interactions with one another. We also hope that our efforts will result in peace, moderation, and respect between people holding conflicting ideologies.
With the Biden Administration’s laser focus on combating climate change, we are optimistic about the potential for energy efficiency to be front and center in terms of funding and attention in the next four years. We are optimistic about private industry’s continued efforts and expect those efforts to increase with government support. We look forward to being able to support our clients and help them do what is right for both people and planet.
Read more about President Biden’s climate change plan here: