Sounds like some crazy sensational headline, but it’s true. Yesterday thousands of websites (including the one belonging to yours truly) went down because of power issues in the Dallas, TX area. Here are some excerpts from an email I received yesterday from my web hosting and design company Energy Circle:
“The data center outage affecting Energy Circle and Energy Circle PRO continues this afternoon and is impacting thousands of other websites around the world on dozens of hosting services.” “The cause of this disturbance was a power outage at a Dallas data center facility called Colo4.”
“Relating this outage to the bigger picture within our industry, we see a bit of twisted irony here: most likely the cause of the outage at Colo4 was the rolling brownouts being experienced across Texas, which in turn are the result of excessive electricity consumption, caused by heavy use of air conditioning to deal with the current heat wave in Texas. This, clearly, emphasizes the need for increased energy efficiency”
A couple of years ago, a similar situation occurred in New York City. They were in the middle of a heat wave and at the same time a large sporting event was going on in the area. Rolling brownouts were experienced all over the city. They were contributed to excessive use of air conditioning coupled with everyone watching the event on large flat screen TVs (which use a LOT of electricity). There are two ways to combat this problem and neither of them includes a discussion with Mother Nature.
The first option is to increase the electrical output capacity of power plants. This way we can use as much energy as we want and not worry about brownouts or even worse, blackouts. Unfortunately, most of our power plants are already operating a peak capability. The only way to deal with this is to build more power plants. Believe it or not, many power companies have already thought of this and have added a monthly fee to your bill specifically to pay for this. BOOOOOOOO!
The second and more logical option (at least in my mind) would be to reduce power consumption. How do we do this……? STOP USING SO MUCH DARN ELECTRICITY! According to the Dept of Energy, residential buildings consume more power in our country than any other sector. SO making our homes more energy efficient would be “the biggest no brainer in the history of Earth.”(Sorry mortgage guy but I couldn’t help myself.) Having an energy audit performed on your home is a good way to start. This way you get the most improvement for your money and don’t waste it on trendy or phantom fixes.
Do you like to surf the web? Do you own your own website? Imagine the shear worldwide panic if power outages caused Facebook to go down for a few hours. Even worse, imagine if you didn’t get to finish reading this article because power outages crashed my website again. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Remember…….Don’t throw money at your problems, throw knowledge, it’s a lot cheaper.