In her internship this semester, Katie Paige ’14 is working with the City of Geneva to update the city’s greenhouse gas inventory.
A double-major in economics and environmental studies, Paige has been extracting the city’s electricity and natural gas usage from New York State Electric and Gas records. She then breaks down the city’s energy use further into different categories to determine where the city uses the most energy, but the most satisfying part of the job, she says, “is bringing all this information together to see whether the city is reducing their energy consumption, and where they can focus their efforts in order to see the biggest gains in efficiency.”
Each week Paige meets with Larry Campbell, of the Green Geneva Committee, to review results and plan for the step.
“This is an important project – one that the Colleges do every two years. The city wants to know what their carbon footprint is and take steps to reduce it,” says Tom Drennen, professor of economics and environmental studies, and is a senior economist at Sandia Labs. “This is a good, applied project the helps the city and is a great opportunity for a student to work with a committee in Geneva.”
Although the 2013 data isn’t yet available, Paige’s work so far with the data from 2010 through 2012 seems promising for the city’s efficiency.
With the help of Johnson Controls, a company that helps towns and businesses reduce their energy consumption, “it appears that there has been a short term decrease in the Geneva’s energy consumption,” says Paige, who is excited about the opportunity to apply her majors and skills in “a way that is both interesting and meaningful. Hopefully, this project will help the city to learn more about other ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint.”