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How much energy would we save if we closed stores couple nights a week?

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:40 PM
Original message
How much energy would we save if we closed stores couple nights a week?
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 04:43 PM by KoKo01
I notice that my malls and local stores are pretty empty at night. What if we closed our stores a couple of nights a week ...what if we closed retail stores on Sundays? Food stores could be exempt, plus pharmacies and maybe a few others...but think of the savings in road traffic and electricity.

The job losses would be minimal because the stores would be busier on the days and nights they were open so extra personnel would be needed.

During the energy crisis in Carter's Administration New York City Buildings turned off their lights overnight. There was a huge savings.

If we all planned better and didn't use shopping as a hobby, we could make a difference in our air polution and oil consumption.

Folks in America didn't always have stores open every night and all weekend and we seemed to do okay. People planned around late Thursday Night or Saturday night hours. The stores were better staffed and seemed to be busier too.

Is this an unworkable idea? No one ever seems to mention it. :shrug:
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Probably 0 - the store owners wouldn't think to turn off the lights
and everyone else would go our to eat.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. Kind of hard on working folks, don't you think?
Stores used to be closed except on Friday and Saturday nights back in the good old days when Mom was home 24/7 and could do the family shopping during the day (if she had transportation, a big stumbling block). That isn't the case now, and people who work the 9-5 treadmill need those expanded hours.

Plus, stores keep their lights on and their heating/AC running during the day, too, so the energy savings just wouldn't be there. Some lights are kept on to discourage thieves when the store is closed and the climate is controlled 24 hours a day.

A better choice might be to have stores open at noon instead of 8-10 AM, depending on the business. That would save on lighting for a few hours a day, although the savings might be minimal compared to climate control.
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why do you hate the Corporate States of Murika???
(Your idea makes too much sense, KoKo. People used to plan on going to stores on Thursday night, when I was little. Good heavens, you expect people to PLAN AHEAD???)

:sarcasm:
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. 75% of our energy goes to transportation. So it wouldn't make much
difference to the overall energy problem.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. Your post seems to be based on the assumption
that we are in a energy crisis? Or is your main concern about the pollution cased by seemingly wasted light ?

A couple of points about lights and retail stores:

Certain lights like halogen lights actually cost more to turn on then run for the hours the store is closed.

Many stores stock at night, which normally pays better and makes shopping safer and less of a hassle during the day.

I'm personally for what was know as "blue laws" in the south for many years.

Almost all stores were closed on Sunday. I'm not for them necessarily for religions reasons, but many people work retail, weekends have become almsot a required work day simply because of the amount of shopping done because our lives are so busy. Sunday should be a family day for the community and a day of rest to enjoy our many blessing from living in this country.

As country I think we would adjust and I think our lives would be fuller and less materialistic.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. I'm sorry, but that's patent nonsense.
> Certain lights like halogen lights actually cost more to turn
> on then run for the hours the store is closed.

I'm sorry, but that's patent nonsense.

Tesha
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I may have gotten the wrong type light system in my post, but I
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 09:39 PM by Poppyseedman
know from working with a building contractor years ago, we replaced a lighting system in a high school gym that was programmed to turn off only on weekends because turning them off and on every night would actually cost more in replacement bulbs and power to run them all week.

Of course that was twenty years ago plus, so my base of knowledge certainly may be outdated.

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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. It's the "vapor" lights, not halogen
Halogen lights have a tungsten filament, some kind of halide in them to serve as a coolant, and a quartz envelope. You can turn them off without penalty.

Mercury-vapor, high-intensity-discharge (which is a self-ballasted mercury-vapor bulb), high-pressure sodium and metal halide lighting are the systems you're thinking of, and in the case of 20 years ago it was probably mercury-vapor. (I don't think it was HPS because those lights are yellow.) Those ones you would leave on because of the expense of starting them--once a mercury-vapor bulb starts, it basically just sits there and cranks out light with just a tiny bit of juice, but while it's starting it draws a shitload of power to heat the mercury.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. Thanks, for the update info. I knew I was not talking out of my
ass. I just didn't remember what type of lighting system it was.

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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #29
39. And the previous poster is wrong also.
I'm sorry, but it doesn't take "a shitload of power" to start high-intensity
dischage lighting; while they're starting, they actually consume less power
while starting than while running. You're correct that it definitely does
shorten the life of the HID lamps to turn them off and on a lot, but the
real hassle is that they won't "restrike" when hot, so once you turn them
off, you've got no light for a few minutes even if you turned them
right back on.

But there's absolutely no question that you will save electrical power
by turning off *ANY* lamp whose light will go unused for a few minutes.
Whether you'll save money is a bit more complex a question.

Tesha

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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. I agree about Sunday being a day off...
I'm not a churchgoer... but I like there being a day when I simply *can't* run around doing errands.

I grew up in a small town and recall with pleasure the eerie quiet that descended on summer Sundays... and the sense of restored vigor on Mondays....
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. It did give people a chance to reconnect with their families and visit
each other or just go to a park or sit and think about nothing.

Somehow a day when you just can't go shopping might be good for all of us...and save us some energy and gas. A fresh air day!
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Bring back the Blue Laws?
I thought we fought the religious right to get rid of them?
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Not me, man!
Hey, they can pick Wednesday, for all I care. I just think a commerce-free day is a good thing, and if I were Queen, I'd decree all Sunday and Wednesday afternoons as shut-down-business days. Time to listen to music, read books, make love, eat food...

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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
28. Great. So When Do Those Of Us Who Work During The Week
get a chance to run errands?

Different era, folks.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. Yeah, yeah, times have changed.
I wonder why people have so many MORE errands to run these days?

It's a pity, is all I'm saying.
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Because markets used to deliver, milk and dairy were delivered,
spices and staples came on the Watson truck, doctors made housecalls... In a world where most women didn't have their own cars, the markets had to come to them, rather than the other way around.

And corner groceries have pretty much disappeared, so it's not possible to leave $10 and a list for your 12 year old to go fetch a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and some apples for tonight's supper when s/he gets home from school. I think I may be the last of the last generation who could do that. (though it was a fiver when I was 12.)

Just thinking back to what we used to be able to do by walking, sending a kid, or having it delivered, and what isn't available that way now necessarily triples our errands.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. That's true. My mother didn't even drive.
I used to have to walk everywhere, too -- because my dad had the car and worked long hours.

Interesting, the unintended consequences of every change...
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
36. But it was based on religion.
If you want a family day of rest for things to be closed, let's make it Wednesday or Friday or Monday. Sunday is far too loaded with Christian overtones (and there are far too many fundies who get riled about Sunday opening hours as it is) to give them a bone of this size.

Mondays actually have a lower productivity rate and sales rate than the other days; maybe we should move our working week to Tuesday through Saturday and take Mondays off.

One other thing: in places where this is strictly enforced, there's a black market in necessities. Australia in the 50s and 60s had strict closing hours on Sundays and evenings, but if you needed something, you could usually find someone willing to break the law... for a price. The US already has a huge hidden economy; we don't need to add to that.
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. How about simply turning off the power in buildings...
...that truly are empty and unused overnight? I think specifically of school buildings and college campuses. A few years ago I worked nights at a large university. During warm nights when I'd walk to my building, I passed all the other buildings, which were locked, and could barely hear myself think over the roar of the monster air conditioning units that ran throughout the whole night. The only building that was open overnight, was the one where I worked. Why not turn off the power in the others? If there was any concern about the conditions being unbearable by morning, I'm sure a timer could be set so the climate controls started up again an hour or so before opening time. I know the standard response to such a suggestion is "It takes more power to get the temperature back down/up to where it's supposed to be, than simply to run the AC/heat all night" - but that just seems bogus to me.

Likewise my working neighbors run their air conditioners all day while they're not home (and no pets to worry about, either). I've never understood it. I guess I can shrug and think "It's their money," but I cringe at the environmental damage.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
33. actually, in many cases
it uses less energy to maintain a certain temperature overnight, or during the day, than it takes to let the building go ambient and then bring it back to room temperature a few hours later.
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mandyky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. Instead of closing down all stores on nights and weekends
have the businesses in a region stagger their down time. There are people who work 2nd and 3rd shift who need things open different from 9 to 5ers.

I don't think "blue laws" are a good idea - shutting stuff down on Sundays, etc.

I am not a recreational shopper, in fact I hate shopping, but I want the store open when I am able to get there.

I do think it is a good idea to turn lights off in business buildings at night, not all, but most of them.
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LizMoonstar Donating Member (392 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. ah, you beat me to it, see #8. I like this. n/t
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serryjw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Personally, I would reverse it!
OPEN the stores at 2-3PM. Most people shop in the evening are w/e's anyway
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LizMoonstar Donating Member (392 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. assuming this is a worthy target (as some have commented it may not matter
as opposed to transportation, i have to give my 2cents.

as a (former and hopefully again soon) night shift worker, i think more things need to be accessible in the middle of the night. we're at a point where enough things are open 24hours that a substantial part of the population works at night and has to sleep during the day, but enough things are not 24hours that those same people have to cut big holes in their hard-earned (it's tough to adjust your circadian rhythms to day sleep) sleep cycles to access them. Banks, post offices, eve calling business offices. we're stuck in the middle, and I think we need to go one way or the other. and i don't see anyone going back to everything being 9-5.

that being said, i'd rather see stores use, say, dimmer lights and less climate control than make things so that when my driveway is frozen over when I get home at 3 in the morning I can't get driveway salt so I can get in. (however, places like boutiques, i can see it working.)

i see your point, but i think it needs to be fleshed out and organised in more specific detail before i'll sign on. myself, i'm pushing more for better public transport and a re-expansion of Amtrak, because I waste a hell of a lot more energy having to drive six hours, even in my fully-packed 35mpg-getting '93 Tercel, to get to my parents, or Jon driving 3 hours in his (handmedown) Jeep to get home to Chicago, than anything else he and I do.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. Every little bit helps
There are all sorts of creative ways we could cut back energy use. Of course, it would be much easier if we had visionary leaders in charge but instead we got stuck with the death and destruction crowd.

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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
11. The Publix grocery stores shut out almost half of their overhead lighting.
They have signs up all over the stores explaining it's their way to save energy.
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Not Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. and it makes sense...
Lights create heat, which serves to run up their A/C costs. Publix is based in FL and has a large Florida/SE reach.

The same logic may not hold true in the Northern parts, since money spent on lights offsets heating costs. (Maybe that's why Wegmans* in upstate NY leaves their doors wide open all year round.

*Wegmans, for those of you who haven't been in one of their grocery stores, is the.best.grocery.shopping.experience.period.
I miss them here in FL.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yes, Publix is in Fl, GA, TN, & AL.
I suspect it has more to do with lowering their costs than in reducing energy use, but that's OK. I still think it's a good idea.
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Wcross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
15. It wouldn't work.
Stores close when they feel they can not generate a profit by staying open. It wouldn't go over to well with most business owners when the government dictates business hours.
People don't react well to restrictions on the lifestyle they have become accustomed to. People want to shop when they want to shop.

How about these alternatives;

If people switched to on demand hot water heaters the the savings would be noticeable. If they used them in conjunction with passive solar water heating the energy savings would be enormous. How do we encourage people to do this? Tax incentives.
If we encouraged more efficient and smaller refrigerators with the compressor above the unit we could save energy.
We increase the tax incentives for residential solar power systems. We encourage more alternative energy vehicles using tax incentives. Geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, passive heating and cooling built into new homes and the use of fluorescent lighting encouraged.

If we encouraged businesses to use alternative power and heating/cooling systems in their operations it would save energy. Again we would use tax incentives for this specific investment.

The only way to cut power usage is to make it financially attractive to do so. People won't do it just because its the right thing to do.

Check this link out;

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Projects.htm


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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. We should do all the things you mention but it will take too long and this
would be an immediate help. We don't have time to ramp up all your good ideas and get them into peoples lives.

But a "Fresh air day" and maybe closing stores earlier a couple of times a week would help immediately.
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Wcross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. How would you get the retailers to comply? Money talks....
They wouldn't be open if it wasn't profitable. If the government mandated a law would it still be a good idea? How about in conjuction with a mandatory shutdown of business in towns they also mandate a shutdown of the internet? What days are good for an internet shutdown? Imagine how much power could be saved without all these 200-600 watt power supplies sucking power out of the grid!
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #25
31. It might be an idea that would make sense economically to them.
I'm seeing so many stores with no one in them...it makes me wonder if it doesn't cost more to keep them open at night than to just close. So many folks in debt and a housing bubble starting to leak, might mean that shoppers are tapped out.

It might happen on it's own...because oil and natural gas prices impact the stores bottom line costs. Right now the stores keep lowering prices and demanding that China cut the prices lower and lower for the goods we buy. There's only so low one can go.

But, people could plan better. Consolidate there shopping needs into one or two days a week. Right now we all make unncessary trips to stores because we are used to it. We go to the mall because we are bored and just want to walk around and look at what's in the stores, even if we don't buy something. Maybe some discipline would do us all good.
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MazeRat7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
17. Not enough to matter.... But what if we had a national "Black Out" night ?
Say once per week or so championed by a "real" leader who ask Americans to sacrifice and turn off their lights, environmental controls, home electronics, and stayed home with the family... that might make a small difference in consumption, but it would make a hugh difference in awareness.

Unfortunately... we haven't had a leader like that in decades.


MZr7
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. IMO, 1 reason Carter lost was b/c many thot 'he turned off Xmas lites'
IOW, elections are often decided on what many would consider to be very minor points

he tried to make the US take the energy crisis seriously, but all a lot of people saw was that for a couple of Christmases there were very few outdoor Christmas lights

in the words of today's RW blather 'Carter hates Christmas,' 'Carter destroying Christmas'....
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #22
32. We are in worse shape than when Carter was president, though.
And, Carter had the RW then dissing him, like you said, but it was the Iran hostages than brought him down, in the end. When Nightline debuted with Ted Koppel with his Day 60..etc...of American Hostages held captive drum beating...night after night.

Just think...we have American Hostages held in Iraq now...and there's no Nightline doing a countdown. We have Enron going on five years and only Lou Dobbs mentioned it..I think even he has stopped doing his Enron countdown these days.

We might all have to sacrifice some Mall lights with global warming and high fuel costs eating away at what little we earn. We could find compromises if anyone would even think about discussing it.

I just don't see why Mall stores should be open 24/7 and till 9:30 every night when most small businesses still close one day a week and could probably close a few more nights a week. We need to plan our shopping better. It could work to consilidate our grocery and other shopping. :shrug:
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
27. I remember the days that stores closed on Sundays and
stayed open until nine on Monday night right after WWII. Monday night and Saturday openings were so the working class could shop. Of course on those days shoppers were wall to wall. This is how we got almost around the clock shopping in urban areas, Saturday and Monday night got too intense.

I think the stores know what they are doing with this one.
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
30. Why do you need to save energy? There is no shortage of energy, no
crisis... The ONLY reason prices are high is so that bush's oil co pals can profiteer. That's it.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
35. what about people who can only shop on weekends or evenings?
and there are A LOT of them...

closing stores on sundays cuts available shopping time in half for many people- and means that stores will be that much more crowded on saturdays...

NO THANKS!
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