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Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

EVS 300


Environmental Science and Policy


An increasing number of institutions are concerned about climate change, and Smith College is among them in working to reduce its impact. Student energy use comprises a significant part of the 44% of purchased electricity used by the college. Our study aims to measure student energy use, compare student energy use based on location, size of houses, and class year, and identify major energy consuming appliances. Through conducting student surveys, analyzing data, and researching successful initiatives to change student energy use behavior, I gained a deeper understanding of the highest energy consuming items and highest energy consuming sections of campus. This information is crucial for the College to make plans to increase energy efficiency and conservation among students. Houses with 20 residents or less and houses with 41 o 60 residents use the least amount of energy, while houses with 30-50 residents and 90 residents and above use the most amount of energy. Students living in Lower and Upper Elm use significantly more energy than students living elsewhere on campus. Among class years, there is no statistically significant difference in energy use behavior between first-years and seniors. Gathering this information has allowed us to better understand student energy behavior and propose recommendations to the college to increase energy efficiency and conservation on campus, with the larger goal of achieving the Climate Action Plan to neutralize Smith College’s greenhouse gas emissions.


© 2009;Amy Zeng