Monthly Archives: April 2011

Third Carbon Trust Survey

Just had out 3rd Carbon Survey, conducted by Paul Reading (www. reddingweb.co.uk ).

Targets and opportunities to look at this time are:

  1. Staff and Customer Energy Management awareness
  2. Monitoring and Targeting
  3. Reduce Energy for Catering Operations
  4. Heating Control Improvements
  5. Variable Speed Drives for pumps
  6. Consider CHP
  7. Solar Energy Options

1. Staff training is always a good thing and should permanently be on these reports to remind us that it is the people who waste energy not equipment!

2. We already have a target of 50% on our 2005 energy usage levels, and calculate against turnover, activity levels etc… Monitoring would be much easier though if “networked data loggers” were cheaper!

3. The Catering side can be responsible for large amounts of energy wastage, so more training and monitoring needs to be implemented here.

4. Heating control improvements, we are just looking at replacing our existing system with a better system at the moment.

5. Variable Speed Drive for Pumps (VSD); talk of the devil! Just after the inspection a couple of our pumps failed (2HP) and we were going to swap them for VSD pumps. However, when you work out the cost and consider the fact that they are small 2hp the payback time was ludicrously long! Sop the option failed the economic test!

6. Combined Heat and Power (CHP); I am really up for this but we recently changed our water heaters for brand new Lochinvar 98% efficient units. Shame, I really wanted to produce our own electricity.

7. Solar Energy options; the solar system needs a better control system, which we are looking into at the moment.

Low carb soup

For me, getting on a low carb diet seemed like a dream come true. The low carb Atkins meal plan allowed me to eat as much as I wanted of my favorite foods. I love steak, ham, bacon, cheese, omelettes, and all other things greasy and meaty. In the past, these foods have led to a great deal of weight gain, but now I could use these sinful food products to drop the pounds that they had helped me to put on. What I didn’t see was the other side of this diet plan: it ruined my favorite foods for me!

You see, even if you are eating Filet mignon three times a day, it is only so long before you get sick of it. The same goes for ham, bacon, omelettes, and all of the other standard fare in the Atkins diet. The problem is that people use little creativity when they are cooking low carbohydrate foods. Protein is what you should eat, and what is a more obvious source of protein than a big chunk of greasy, fatty meat? After all, isn’t that that lure of the diet in the first place? You get to eat nothing but meat and lose weight at the same time! Still, once the novelty wears off, it all starts to taste disgusting. If it weren’t for low carb soup, I would have dropped out entirely.

Learning about low carb soup, in fact, opened a new world of possibilities for me. I have always loved soup, but I have never cooked it very much. I always assumed that it was hard to make, but this wasn’t the case. As a matter of fact, learning to cook low carb soup almost doubled the choices I had for my meals! Many of the best known traditional soups, from New England clam chowder, to chicken soup, to miso soup, are easily adapted to a low carb lifestyle. Since cream isn’t high in carbohydrates, all you have to do to make low carb chowder is to cut out the potatoes. That isn’t that hard, is it?

Of course, if you want to make a really good low carb soup, You need to do things the traditional way. It is amazing how much better a soup prepared by boiling a soup bone tastes than one made with bullion cubes. Once you try out low carb soups made from scratch, you’ll never go back. They may take a long time, but they also last a long time, so it is worth it.