Guest Blog Post written by Jenn Williams, COO, LewLew Energy
Somehow, we all are still here after the catastrophic year formerly known as 2020. We don’t have to relive it, mainly because we are still living through it currently. Just like everyone else in the world the renewable energy industry took a hard hit due to the pandemic. As we all adjust to the new normal of daily mask wearing, unlimited hand sanitizer and a constant 6 feet of space, many in the renewable energy industry may be asking the question? Does energy efficiency even matter post-pandemic?
Well, the simple answer is YES. So, in response to COVID-19, some companies will need to retrofit or expand their facilities to safely accommodate their employees. When these companies’ welcome back employees it becomes their responsibility to keep their workers as safe as possible. Remote operations capacity does reduce the number of people required to be on-site, eliminating a potentially high cost at a critical time. Now more than ever, the quality of a building’s indoor environment can significantly impact our physical and mental health, well-being, and economic productivity; poor air quality, temperatures that are too hot or too cold, and mold and damp are damaging to health, exposing us to more risk. Improving buildings is also a means for cities to dramatically cut their emissions. Worldwide, buildings account for 40% of CO2 emissions and offer the greatest and lowest-cost potential for reducing them.
The pandemic is a strong force, but the future impact of the renewable energy space will be felt for years to come. I would be remised if I didn’t mention the fact that building retrofit and repurposing is labor-intensive work that can create a significant number of jobs and inject money into local businesses and supply chains, many of which will be small and medium-sized enterprises. By using this time to invest in retrofits, cities and private property owners will enable their buildings to operate more safely and efficiently and will make savings on their energy bills.