Astronauts, Efficiency and Apollo 13

Feb 3, 2011 9:50 PM ET

Xcel Energy Blog

I know that some people don’t think that energy efficiency is very compelling, but there are a lot of astronauts who would disagree with that. In space, energy efficiency literally saves lives. When Apollo 13 lost electrical power, the astronauts’ survival came down to their ability to conserve enough energy to bring them back to Earth. After shutting down all “unnecessary” systems, how much power do you think they had? The equivalent of what it takes to run a coffee pot. Amazing.

I know for a fact that two real astronauts, Gene Kranz, the Gene Kranz, lead flight director on the Apollo 13 mission, and Pamela Melroy, a career NASA astronaut, think energy efficiency is interesting. 

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Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is focused on balancing the need for reliable, affordable energy while building a clean energy future for our customers and the communities we serve. Our commitment to the environment and our communities has been recognized by our inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America in 2010-2011.   We’ve been reducing power plant emissions, promoting energy efficiency and using renewable energy for more than a decade. We’re the No. 1 wind power provider and the No. 5 solar utility in the United States. We offer our 3.4 million electricity and 1.9 million natural gas customers some of the largest conservation programs in the country and have helped our customers save enough energy since 1992 to enable us to avoid building more than 12, medium-size power plants.