Thursday, 30 April 2009

Costly Enterprise Junk Mail

While I was reading a weekly staff news letter I thought: what is the productivity lost if all staff actually read this and all the other news letters and corporate emails each year?

I did the calculation: 13000 staff; 3300 words worth reading per week; 200 words per minute; 8 hours a day; and an average pay of $AU250/day.

If all staff read the corporate junk mail, it would costs $AU5.4M each year!

But not everyone reads them and some just skim them. So if only 50% were actually read, and if only half of those were completely read on average then it adds up to $AU1.4M — still a large number.

I also read from one source that the average reader only comprehends 60% of what they read. So why do we bother if only 15% of the information is getting through?

So, tell management to keep it small and publish less often.

But we all send vast quantities of emails and we craft huge project plans and reports and strategies and requirements specifications and business cases and ... so keep it short for all our sakes.

Was that too long?

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Light Wells

There is some construction work taking place on and under the ramp at Sydney Terminal Station. The work is, I am told, to refurbish rooms under the ramp for the Railway fire department.

Work above these rooms on the ramp revealed Light Wells that had been covered for years - probably over 80 years. These Light Wells consist of a metal frame filled with blocks of coloured glass which allow light to pass through into the rear of the voids under the ramp.

Some are square and others round.

Unfortunately I was too slow to get photos from above before they were covered up.

The work included the removal of the road and foot-path surface, excavation, water-proofing of the ceiling to the Light Wells, and the replacement of the footpath and road surface.

The Light Wells were covered with concrete and once again hidden from view.

Old photos of the ramp don't seem to show the Light Wells so they have been dark for a long time.

Other photos can be found here.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Warrimoo has a new power station

Our photovoltaic solar panels and inverter was installed last week (March 27, 2009).

We eventually selected a 1.5kW, 9 panel system. Our roof faces North and is generally not shaded by trees.

A 2kW inverter was installed in the garage to convert the DC power into AC. The output of the inverter is connected to one of our three-phase power circuits.

The inverter (I am told) switches off during a blackout for safety reasons. Otherwise if there is enough power from the panels it supplies power to our house and any excess is 'pumped' into the grid to supply our neighbors.

The unit seems to start working even if there is just 20W available.

Our household electric energy consumption is about 6 kWh per day. So this system should generate enough energy, on average to supply most of our electricity requirements.

Currently in NSW the energy fed into the grid is purchased by the electricity retailer at the same rate that they charge us so, in theory, every kWh we generate will reduce our bill by about 17c. I believe that this will rise to over 20c in July 2009.

It is hoped that NSW will establish a higher feed-in rate as some other states have done in Australia. Most pay at least 44c per kWh for excess generated capacity. This is called a Net feed-in tariff. The ACT pays 50c for every kWh generated which is called a Gross feed-in tariff.

The metering has not been done yet so we have one meter that generally runs backwards and the digits also count down so, although the feed-in meter is not installed, we are benefiting from our excess generated energy - if they take it into account. Our existing meters will be replaced by a poly-phase power meter and an additional feed-in meter will be installed.