Promoting Energy Efficiency: A local approach?
Motivated by concerns about air and water quality, economic development, climate change, and energy independence, transforming the way we produce and consume energy has emerged as one of the most important challenges faced by people everywhere. Because of the scale and complexity of this challenge, addressing it is often seen as the province of the federal government or a coordinated international effort. But does it need to be? Is there an opportunity for concerned communities to take significant action at a smaller scale? Moreover, can local programs/initiatives be designed to reduce energy waste and promote economic development simultaneously? In this colloquium, we will work directly with city leaders in Berea, Kentucky to engage these questions. Berea is home to a small municipal utility (Berea Municipal Utilities), which is evaluating strategies to reduce electricity consumption within the community while maintaining the utility’s financial stability and electrical services. Course participants will act as consultants to BMU in this effort, one shared by many communities around the world. Students will be learning firsthand about the concerns and challenges identified by decision-makers and working together to provide information and analysis about one or more of the energy efficiency programs under consideration.
Course taught by
Nathan Sivers Boyce