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I work in a bank. They keep it so cold inside in the summer that employees are forced to have space heaters in their offices to keep from shivering all day. All in hopes that a customer who comes in from the outside heat will feel comfortable for the less than 5 minutes that they are inside.

The amount of waste is unreal and disgusting. I was laughed at the other day by a coworker because I commented on how much energy we waste by doing this. He said, "But you don't have to pay for it. Who cares?"

That about sums up the attitude here in Texas.

At least in commercial buildings in humid climates, building air is cooled by industrial chillers to lower humidty to acceptable levels (chiefly to inhibit mold growth I think), then the air is heated for comfort. So it would actually use more energy to make these spaces warmer. This is what I have been told by some building engineers/architects.

A chiller generates a lot of heat which is discharged outside (for example on the building roof). I would ask the engineer why they don't use this heat to reheat the dehumidified air.

I work for a financial group, and no customer will ever have a reason to come into this specific building whatsoever. Current outside temp this morning is about 65F with a high of 68F. The temperature set for inside is 60F. What sadistic person thinks that 60F is comfortable? That temperature never moves.

I wear thin sweaters to work during the summer. Last summer, I went inside a gas station after work to grab a snack. The outside temp was anywhere from 90F to 110F. The woman behind the counter asked if I had a medical condition, because, "Who wears a sweater during the summer?" I laughed and explained how my office building is an ice box.

This is a problem even in tropical countries such as India and Singapore. The contrast between outside and inside temperatures is insane. We get headaches and God knows what the long term detrimental health effects are. It's worse in Singapore as the subway is also super cold.

This affects hotels/conference rooms in Singapore a lot. It's a bit absurd - I needed shorts+tshirt to survive the trip to the hotel and then a sweater to survive the conference inside. I'm not sure how can people deal with it every day.

I’m living in SG 5 years now, moved in from Europe. You get used to the temperature outside (Took me two months to get adjusted), so wearing long trousers and a shirt is ok now. That also works for inside. When I’m back home now everything < 25°C is cold!

As long as the energy wasted is clean energy, I guess it should be fine? The sun is shining on Earth at all times and most of the energy is wasted.

(a) it isn't clean energy, generally;

(b) setting up the infrastructure to produce clean energy is not purely clean itself.

Until you can account for every last gram of toxic solvent, mine tailings, electricity consumed during manufacture, and CO2 produced during transport from e.g. solar panels, it's not entirely clean. It's just better than the alternative. Not using the energy is always cleaner.

I read an article a few months back (no reference handy, unfortunately) that was talking about attitudes towards energy utilization in Quebec, Canada, where the vast majority of the electricity is generated from hydro. The basic conclusion was that when everyone knows that the energy they're using is "clean", they don't actually worry too much about it.

That idea really excites me! If our energy sources are both clean and abundant, that opens up a lot of doors to technology that previously had uncomfortable tradeoffs. For example, high-energy-consumption recycling instead of mining new raw materials; right now it can be a bit of a wash (sure, we're mining less, but we're burning coal to power the process), but post-scarce-clean-energy it becomes way less of concern. Likewise with a lot of automation tasks. Very exciting!

Constructing clean energy is not without greenhouse gas emissions, and the wastage of clean energy means that soemone else is required to use dirty energy. Now once we get to a world of 100% clean energy this won't be true, but AFAIK only a few countries have achieved this so far, and it only occurs when weather conditions are just right.

It would be fine if all energy used everywhere on the planet was green. Until then, wasting clean energy still creates more demand for that clean energy, which affects its price and thus its competitiveness vs other energy sources. Even in Quebec, for example, energy not used is sold outside the province.

Wasting a resource decreases its supply. With legitimate demand constant, the decrease in supply increases the price of the good. If the price is then in the fossil fuel range, you’ve increased the demand for fossil fuel.

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