Energy for the Next Generation

Green and Clean Energy

The use of energy throughout the world has a huge impact on global ecological sustainability, whether it is fossil fuels, hydro electricity, wind energy, solar power or any other method used to create it. To achieve sustainability we must find more efficient ways to create and use the energy that we have now; the future depends on it.
The world’s most widely used means of creating energy is burning fuel, which, in a nutshell is using up a resource that cannot be quickly replenished once it is gone. It takes thousands or even millions of years for any material that is under the ground to become oil or gas.

Assuming the world doesn’t come to an end in the next couple of months, where will we be in another 100 years? The time for action is now; we must act today to create and energy-secure future for the next generations. There are many steps that members of the general public can take that aren’t always talked about when conversing about energy conservation. We have all heard about turning off the tap while we brush our teeth or turning the light out when we leave a room – but that’s not going to be good enough.

Further steps range from replacing that old 1990s television set with a new LCD, LED or Plasma screen of the same size to using a laptop instead of a desktop computer to get your homework done for a savings of over 500 watts, to recycling electronics instead of disposing of them because it takes barrels and barrels of oil to make those components in the first place, to replacing those 100 watt tungsten light bulbs with 13 watt CFL bulbs.

Green and Clean was founded in 2006, with a mission to become a one-stop clean energy shop. The first three years were spent doing research and development and vetting of the various products out there to make sure their performance claims were accurate to North American safety standards. Green and Clean has since integrated these products into a comprehensive package for customers, and has the ability to walk into almost any facility and customize a package that is appropriate for each. There are two sides of the energy equation for the company to focus on: the generation side, with solar systems and wind systems, and the conservation side, focusing on reducing demand and load. These two sides complement each other well.

The company has locations in Guelph, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia, with plans for additional locations in North American and Europe.

LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting is the most efficient lighting source in the world, and it makes a lot of sense in a commercial application. Although the product has a high cost up front, the payback is rapid, especially if the lights are being used continuously. A residential user who only uses the lights about three hours a day will see much slower results, but as the prices continue to drop, LED lighting is becoming more popular in the residential arena as well. Green and Clean’s LED offerings are heavily geared toward the agricultural and commercial sectors, since these are the heaviest consumers of energy.

According to Mark McNally, the Vice-President of Green and Clean, to encourage the use of LED lighting, “There is a sales team that goes out to show people the benefits of going down that road. We also have in-house financing solutions, so it’s painless to the consumer. A large part of our mission statement is to educate and advocate, not only for our solutions, but sustainability as a whole.” Through that education process, members of the broader community can develop an awareness of and an interest in sustainable energy.

“We can walk into a commercial warehouse and say, ‘this is how much less energy you will use, this is the bottom line which is how much money you will save, and this is the return on the investment,’” explains Mark. The company’s financing plan will tailor payments so that they are less than the total amount of energy savings, making the transition revenue neutral or revenue positive for the customer.

Green and Clean’s products are top of the line, and the company contracts third party product testers to test virtually everything that it sells to make sure that the product will function in a way that makes it a good solution for the long term. There are some LED lights that, even though they are very low on energy consumption, end up costing more because they burn out rapidly. The lights we see on the fronts of our computers, for example, and the power button on our LCD TV that lights up brilliant blue, red, or green are all LED lights that will last just as long if not longer than the actual product in which they have been installed, so we know that the technology exists to make a very resilient LED. Green and Clean’s products boast similar longevity, and give the customer peace of mind that the products have been tested and will match if not exceed the expected life of the product.

The company maintains a strong engineering department, with both electrical and mechanical engineers. According to Mark, “When it comes to solar PV systems, wind, solar hot water systems or LED lighting, very careful attention is paid to the engineering. In the case of the LED lighting systems, we manufacture them, they are our design and we have complete creative control.” Along with engineering and manufacturing its own LED designs, Green and Clean has also developed its own solar tracking systems that will actually turn a solar panel to face the sun all day long.

Although the company does not manufacture solar panels or wind turbines, the team will not promote a product that does not meet its desired specifications in terms of energy production and longevity. “We pay very close attention to whether or not they meet the manufacturer’s claims,” says Mark. “We’ve done a lot of field testing, and we stand behind the products 100 percent when the solution is installed out in the field. We are always looking for constant product improvement, it never stops here – squeezing that extra watt out, or that little extra bit of light from an LED lamp.”

Such rigorous testing is necessary, Mark explains; the way a solar panel, for example, is designed and built can have drastic implications for its performance and return on investment. Two similar products will not necessarily output the same amount of wattage.

The company’s mission statement is comprehensive, and the most important part, Mark says, is its ‘do no harm’ statement. “We pledge, no matter how profitable it may be, if it morally or ethically rubs us the wrong way, we won’t do it and that even includes our manufacturing partners. We are constantly touring their factories; we’re looking at the workers’ conditions, how the product is shipped and where it’s procured from. We are working toward involving all of our employees in profit sharing so that everyone will have a sense of ownership; we are even careful about the vehicles that we drive and what their carbon footprint is and when it comes to our own power consumption within our facilities, we actually generate more power than we consume here.”

Concludes Mark, “It’s not our God-given right to eat up all the resources we have and then destroy the rest of the planet so that future generations are left with nothing.”

September 23, 2017, 5:52 PM EDT

Live, Work, Play

Most of us living in large cities like New York, London, Madrid, Seoul or Toronto take a lot of things for granted which are not available in smaller communities, like reliable public transit, ready access to highways, parks, bicycle and jogging paths that extend for many miles, and major shopping centres…