As a social media marketing I care about how social media is used the same way a trucker might care about the way the highways are used and maintained. That’s my bread and butter we are talking about. So, when I first heard people talking about the ways that interest and use of social media can be leveraged to drive innovation and improvements in our society, my ears perked up. What’s good for social media is good for me.
From encouraging people to contribute to worthy causes to encouraging them to participate in political discussion, there are a wealth of ways in which social media can be used to make our planet a better place for all of us to share.
FRANK SESNO, “PLANET FORWARD”: Social networking is the cool kid on the block, but can technology like this be used to cut energy costs and make money?
Erica Rowell of Duke University thinks it just might. She uploaded to “Planet Forward” an idea about one Duke alum who is hoping to turn a profit by creating a mini-energy network.
DAVID BREWSTER, PRES. & CO-FOUNDER, ENERNOC: Essentially, you can think of it as sort of democratization of the power grid.
SESNO: Meet David Brewster. He comes out of Duke`s Nicholas School of the Environment and he dreamed of a big network, one that would…
BREWSTER: … fundamentally change the way the electric power industry operates.
SESNO: How? By smoothing out the spikes. His company, Enernoc, is trying to innovate in high-tech and low-tech ways. The low-tech? He works directly with building managers to identify what energy they can live without when the grid is stressed: raise the thermostat a few degrees, dim some lights.
High-tech? Enernoc tracks usage in real time through its network and, when the grid is stressed, it can remotely lower the building`s consumption.
BREWSTER: Instead of relying on power plants to always feed electricity out into the system, we can actually utilize the potential energy efficiency or demand reductions of electricity at buildings.
SESNO: The Seaport Hotel in Boston is part of Enernoc`s network.
MATTHEW MOORE, DIRECTOR OF ROOMS & ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS, SEAPORT HOTEL: They came to the property, they analyzed where we could cut energy without impacting our guests. And we committed to 300 kilowatts, or thereabouts, of reduction.
SESNO: Enernoc can both identify savings and control usage by using this smart-grid device that measures real-time consumption. The same way we all communicate by e-mail, each building tells Enernoc how much power it`s using.
BREWSTER: Most end-users of electricity have no idea when and how much energy they`re consuming.
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