By Katie Luong
As the Energy Team, we strive to be energy-conscious individuals at all times. “Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, improve the competitiveness of our businesses and reduce energy costs for consumers” (Department of Energy).
By the beginning of next week, we should be collecting raw baseline data on the present standard elevator usage in the Math-Sciences building on campus. There will be sensors placed inside one of the elevators to measure its energy usage as it travels up and down floors. Why this building? We chose Math-Sciences based on the high number of students that enter and leave the building, and the particular building layout that results in high usage of elevators. More specifically, the geography of the MS building is somewhat complicated and we believe that some students take the elevator instead of the stairs because they simply do not know where the stairs are located. To combat this issue, our team is placing catchy slogans on new signs around the building every week to help students locate where the staircases are. If our signs are effective, we may see a decrease in elevator energy usage, which means money saved and carbon emissions decreased in the long-term.
Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported that the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act took a step towards being approved by Congress. This act aims to cut energy waste in buildings, homes and industries, save the government from wasteful spending, and create more job opportunities. If this bill passes, as many as “190,000 jobs [will be created], saving $16 billion annually and avoiding emissions equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road” (NRDC). Think about how much all of us could benefit if this bill passes! If there is bipartisan agreement, it will be a major step in fighting carbon pollution, global warming, and improving our quality of life.