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2005-08-04
McKinney, TX. Wal-Mart Energy Savings Called “Insignificant Greenwashing.”

Wal-Mart recently opened its "green" store in McKinney, Texas with a full-blown media effort to spin the company as an environmentally-friendly giant. Kevin Gainer, Managing Editor of the journal ENERGY OPTIMIZATION NEWS, says Wal-Mart's energetic attempts to paint itself green, is totally off-color. Here is Gainer's response to Wal-Mart's McKinney store: "I wanted to alert you to an egregious case of misrepresentation of "energy savings" by Wal-Mart executives. Wal-Mart is touting their McKinney store as having "enough" installed solar photovoltaic (PV) power on their roof to displace 45,000 kWh of electric energy from the local grid every year. What Wal-Mart does NOT tell you is that 45,000 kWh is a frankly insignificant amount of energy. Merely ONE "average" U.S. household (family) uses about 10,000 kWh per year (within the household) and an electrically heated household would use DOUBLE that amount. So Wal-Mart's advertised annual "savings" amounts to what only 2 to 4 household's would use in a year, a miniscule amount (there are 100 MILLION households in the U.S.). The Wal-Mart claim of "savings" is nothing but greenwashing and was concocted to hoodwink the public into believing their PV system provides a material reduction in usage of grid power (local utility generated electricity). Despite the TINY amount of "savings" achieved (and that's IF the savings are achieved), Wal-Mart has turned the PV installation in McKinney into a GIANT public relations campaign, so GIANT the ensuing activity at their public relations firms has IN FACT already used up some of the 45,000 kWh in savings - that is, even their worthless press releases require electric energy to run the computers. I have gotten repeated press releases from Wal-Mart PR flaks urging me to look at the story as basically energy headline news. But, in fact, the info I have received from Wal-Mart's publicists ranks this as one of the top energy PROPAGANDA stories of 2005."

What you can do: For detailed technical data regarding the above consumption data or additional comparisons to put Wal-Mart's so-called PV savings in a logical, practically usable perspective, contact Kevin Gainer at kgainer@columbus.rr.com.










 
 
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