Why have UK businesses become so energy dependent that their entire existence can be held to ransom by recent price-hikes. Of course, energy is required for most industrial processes including refrigeration and food preparation. But why this obsession with artificial lighting and air-conditioning?
I have worked in offices all my adult life. I have never asked to sit behind tinted glass in artificial lighting and freezing air conditioning. It has been imposed on me. I’m sure that it hasn’t always been like that. I would much rather enjoy natural light and the ability to open a window if I feel stuffy. It means that I won’t have to take a pullover to work because of the air-conditioning, when the temperature is a sunny 100° outside. Think about the energy cost of creating this unnecessary artificially controlled environment? Think about the climate. It’s the same with shops. Why do shops always have to have the lights blazing to prove that they are open?
A couple of weeks back, I visited my local pet shop to pick up some cat litter. They had recently moved premises and had not yet had the electricity connected. But the natural light coming in through the window was good enough for me to find my cat litter and complete my purchase.
Three months ago, there was a power cut at my local Tesco supermarket. Again, there was enough natural light for me to complete my shopping. It was just as I could not get it through the till. Today I went to the local Internet cafe at the end of our road to print out some documents. I was pleased to see the staff sitting in natural light and only using electricity to power their computers and printer. At least they are saving some money.
Going forward, the construction of commercial buildings has to change, with windows that open and which maximize the amount of natural light coming in during daylight hours. Also, a change of mindset. Is that so difficult?