Students audit energy use across Georgia College campus
How much power does Georgia College use?
Science students have audited classrooms, offices and entire buildings semester-long in search of the answer.
“It’s been a tedious process counting tiles, measuring window dimensions and calculating energy use of computers and appliances,” said Emily Hill, a senior physics major, “but the process has made everyone in our class aware of the amount of energy we use and oftentimes waste on a daily basis.”
Hill is part of the Energy Audit Group that formed from a special topics course on energy auditing taught by Dr. Hauke Busch, assistant professor and physics lab coordinator in the Department of Chemistry and Physics.
“The group works under Georgia College’s Sustainability Council,” said Busch, who is a council member. “We’re teaching students about energy conservation and reducing CO2, which are part of the council’s mission.”
President Dorothy Leland appointed the council March 2009 to raise environmental awareness across campus and in the community.
The Energy Audit Group is a vital source for the council to determine where and how energy is used on campus, Busch said.
Once the audits are complete, the group will submit its data to the council to review and make recommendations about how Georgia College can reduce energy costs.
“We’ve completed audits in the Arts and Sciences Building, the Depot and Health Sciences Building,” said Hill. “A couple of labs in Herty Hall are done. Dave Terrell, director of Wellness Programs, has also been helpful because he really wants our new Wellness Center energy efficient too.”
This semester the group has worked out the kinks about what tools work best and the number of student auditors needed per room.
“Now, we can finish a classroom in about 10 minutes, but we still need all the help we can get,” Hill said. “Students are more than welcomed to learn how to audit and pitch in because we plan to audit the entire campus.”
The Energy Audit Group meets every Monday and Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 p.m.
Although the semester is winding down, the course will continue spring 2011.
“The course is a great way for students to apply their learned physics principals to real-world situations, solving similar problems seen in industry where money-saving is always a must,” said Busch. “Students also are learning the importance of caring for the environment and have become more efficient in their own lives.”