It still amazes me how rapidly we have moved from gobbling up energy with no thought to the future to the enormous research and work that now goes into ensuring we recycle, re-use and find new ways of ‘fueling and warming’ our lives. The push of course is to maintain the same lifestyle and find ways of doing so without depleting both mother nature and our bank accounts.
Somehow, finding ways of recycling energy is one of the most satisfying pursuits. At Hauser they now collect all warm air generated in their kitchen, bakery and laundry and use a heat exchange system to utilise this energy source. Now that their roof and walls have been insulated and new thermal windows installed, they have gone from using 80.000 liters of oil a year to just in 40.000.
They switched all lighting to LED and installed electric heaters along the restaurant terrace – where once they had gas heaters. These electric heaters are provided by St Moritz solar energy. It is early days still, yet they are rightly very proud of the fact that 2% of all their energy consumption this last Winter was produced purely by solar heat provided by the solar panels installed in St Moritz. It makes complete sense, this happens to be one of the sunniest spots in Europe!
Last Winter was one of those really freak cold ones – anyone who happened to be in Europe around January and February will have a ‘cold’ story to tell – in St Moritz – at its coldest – it dropped to -35 … I think that really is when you most appreciate insulation, heat exchange systems and solar energy! Reduce, re-use, recycle as Jack Johnson will sing – is where we are at!