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Turn that thing up!

This is one of those “why didn’t we think of this sooner” kind of things.

City Hall has gotten a little hotter, and not because of a sudden gust of political rhetoric.

Officials adjusted the air conditioning in 100 municipal buildings, hoping that a 2-degree increase in air temperature — to 74 — will help save money. And relieve a most peculiar Houston phenomenon: having to wear a sweater indoors in summer.

“Now that I think about it, I can get away without that thick sweater I used to wear,” said Linda Layton, agenda director for Councilwoman Jolanda Jones. “It’s tolerable now, comfortable.”

Jon Newport, another council staffer, said he feels warmer than he’d like but he can live with the change.

“Whatever we have to do to save the taxpayers money, that’s what we’ll do,” he said. “It’s noticeable, but I wouldn’t say it’s uncomfortable. I haven’t been forced to go out and buy a fan.”

The city budgeted $159 million for its electrical bill in the coming year. Since 2004, it has reduced its energy consumption, in kilowatt-hours, by 5.8 percent, said Issa Dadoush, the director of General Services.

The city doesn’t know how much it’ll save by raising the temperature, but it hasn’t ruffled any feathers, he said.

“We have not received any complaints, and we’ve had some really hot days over the past three weeks,” Dadoush said.

Talk about a simple thing you can do to save the planet. I’ve worked for the past two years in a cubicle that has a west-facing window. When I first got there, all the windows on that floor had these old, ratty, and completely ineffective coverings that did nothing to block the afternoon sunlight. It got mighty warm around there, and I say that as someone with robot-like heat tolerance. As a result, there were many complaints to facilities folks to crank the A/C, something that would not be appreciated very much these days. They eventually replaced all that with miniblinds, which do a much better job of keeping things temperate, presumably including the utility bills. It’s a win-win all around.

So what’s the temperature at your office? Based on this MeMo video, I suspect that article got mailed around quite about at the Chronicle.

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One Comment

  1. chris says:

    I had a mechanical engineer friend of mine tell me that for any given building, you will have 1/3 too cold; 1/3 just right and 1/3 too hot but that the gender distribution will be men too hot and women too cold. I wonder how many guys you’ll see sweating through their shirts at city hall.