‘Boris Bikes’ allow users to purchase a short term membership (24 hours minimum) and use bikes from more than 550 docking stations for short journeys of less than 30 minutes. *MCT photo
‘Boris Bikes’ allow users to purchase a short term membership (24 hours minimum) and use bikes from more than 550 docking stations for short journeys of less than 30 minutes. *MCT photo

Welcome to 2014. 

A New Year is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to step back and reevaluate where we want to go in the next 12 months. Some of us may have been rash enough to make a set of New Year Resolutions that we confidently expected to guide our lifestyle for the upcoming year. 

Usually these resolutions are made during a period of chronic guilt as the season of excess draws to a close or worse still are caused by the refusal of once familiar clothing to demonstrate even the slightest willingness to still fit. 

Statistically speaking, only about eigt per cent of us who make a resolution actually end up achieving the goals we set ourselves so if your resolution has already fallen by the wayside don’t feel bad, take comfort in knowing you are certainly in the majority. 

However, there is still time to make a resolution that does not involve an excess of physical activity or temporary starvation.

Modify

Over the last few months of 2013 we jointly explored a wide variety of ways that we as individuals can begin to modify our behaviour with regards to how we consume energy and hopefully, as a result of these changes, how we can reduce our overall energy consumption and in turn reduce the demands we make on an ever dwindling finite set of natural resources. 

So for those of you that still have the will for one more attempt at a New Year resolution let me propose a 2014 Energy Resolution. 

Using the information and suggestions in the series of articles titled ‘The Energy Diet’ let’s resolve to reduce our monthly kilowatt hour per day consumption for 2014 compared to the same month for 2013! 

The comparison data is easy to find at the very top of the BELCO bill titled ‘Consumption Comparisons’ and is easily monitored and measured on a month by month basis. 

New Year resolutions aside, I have been giving a lot of thought to where I would like to take this column in 2014 and what sort of topics would be of most relevance to our island. 

During my travels last year I came across a number of projects that were of particular interest and I believe worth exploring in the Bermuda context. On a trip to the city of Oxford in England I was amazed to walk around a city centre with a public transportation system based on Electric Hybrid buses that are the lowest emission bus fleet in the United Kingdom as well as probably the quietest. The Oxfordshire County Council has designated the entire City Centre as LEZ. — ‘Low Emissions Zone’.  Now there’s a thought for a greener, cleaner and quieter City of Hamilton! 

Another project that caught my attention and gave me one of the most entertaining days cycling I have ever had was in the centre of London. 

Boris Bikes

It is the Barclays Bank Cycle Hire network affectionately known as ‘Boris Bikes’ named after London’s mayor Boris Johnson who was one of the key proponents of the scheme. 

It allows users to purchase a short term membership (24 hours minimum) and use bikes from more than 550 docking stations for short journeys of less than 30 minutes. 

There are more than 8,000 bikes available and there have been more than 22 million journeys made since the scheme was launched in 2010. 

I managed to cross the entire city in just a few hours switching bikes every 30 minutes and taking in a lot of sites and a good pub lunch along the way. 

Other topics to be explored in 2014 are Customs Tariffs and how we can use them to encourage a migration to improved energy efficiencies across a wide range of everyday activities including the vehicles we drive and the devices we own and operate in our homes and businesses. 

And if all that isn’t enough I would like to encourage a conversation about how we ‘build in’ energy efficiency from the ground up in our construction and building codes to ensure we are leaving a legacy of sustainability and efficiency for our future generations. 

Nick Duffy is divisional manager with Bermuda Alternate Energy. You may contact Mr Duffy at info@bae.bm