The goal of our project is to determine a reasonable estimate for the personal energy consumption of a Vassar student. In order to achieve this goal, both members of our group will use the Watts Up Pro to measure the energy uses of the various appliances, technology and light sources in our dorm rooms. We will then calculate the average energy consumption per day. Using this value we will calculate the approximate energy consumption over the course of an academic year and determine how much this costs.
To carry out this project, we plan to test all electronic devices in our rooms and record how long they are in use over a span of three days. For each day of the study we will also re-test each device using the Watts Up Pro. If the values do not change between the first two days of testing, we will assume they remain constant. After we have calculated our average energy use per day, we will multiply by the number of days in the academic year to determine our total consumption. We will then contact the college to find the cost of energy per kWh on campus and use this to calculate the total cost of our energy use. It will be interesting to determine what percentage of Vassar’s room and board fees are used to cover energy expenses. We predict that this value will be quite small.
A possible extension of this project might include obtaining the same data from other individual dorm rooms, as time allows. This would give a more accurate measure of an average student’s energy use.