Beat The Heat (And Save Energy): Show Some Leg!

You start in a thin suit, long-sleeve shirt, socks, underwear, and shoes...

Our math:
Using the apparel industry's insulation measure ("clo"), we found how many degrees cooler or warmer attire changes make people. Then we calculated energy savings based on turning a building's AC or heat down by those degrees.

Spring/
Summer

Dress Change Cooling Power Savings for a Three-Story Office Building Savings for the Empire State Building
No suit jacket -4.0 F $157 $72,000
Short-sleeve shirt -0.8 F $31 $14,400
Shorts -0.9 F $35 $16,200
Sandals, no socks -0.3 F $12 $5,400
Six-Month Total -6.0 F $235 $108,000

Fall/
Winter

Dress Change Warming Power Savings for a Three-Story Office Building Savings for the Empire State Building
Thicker Suit +1.7 F $462 $212,500
Sweater +1.7 F $462 $212,500
Long Underwear +3.9 F $1,060 $487,500
Boots +0.9 F $245 $112,500
Six-Month Total +9.9 F $2,691 $1,237,500
Total Annual Savings $2,926 $1,345,500*

*The Empire State Building is in the middle of a $20 million retrofit aimed at reducing annual energy expenses by $4.4 million. If workers simply dressed down there, it could reach 30% of the target savings at virtually no cost.

Related:
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