“I am assessing the energy efficiency of the municipal buildings in the City of Geneva. This includes all the municipal buildings, the water and wastewater treatment facilities, and the schools (which are not actually part of the City of Geneva, but the Geneva City School District). I am assessing how much energy each of these facilities uses and how much the City is paying to run these buildings. I will then figure out some energy saving opportunities for them to pursue into the future. This project deals with rising energy prices that are hurting the economy of Geneva, and any reduction in costs would be a great benefit to the City.”
- Austin Kana, Hobart ‘09
Double Major in
Environmental Studies and Public Policy
Why are Green Buildings important to the community?
Environmentally speaking, it makes sense for buildings to be energy efficient. Secondly, for the Geneva community to have Green Buildings would be good press for the city since it would display an image of the city as an attractive, welcoming, and environmentally-friendly area. But there are also extremely important financial reasons that deal with tax dollars. "If we can save [the City of Geneva] money from energy use, then they can use that money for other local government programs." According to Kana's figures, cutting back even just a fraction of energy costs can save the City thousands of dollars. "Reduction in costs for running these buildings will mean more money placed elsewhere such as the school system, etc.
What are your goals for the project? What do you hope to accomplish?
What have you personally learned so far? How has this project affected you?
"I've found that learning the politics behind this project is very interesting to work with. Seeing the city of Geneva and the town of Geneva- they're two completely different entities." For Kana, one of the great things about the project is coming up with the plan and figuring out how to go from there. To always ask "What now?" and then to go into uncharted territory. This project will also be a great experience for Kana who is looking into working in environmental policy (especially energy policy) as a possible career choice.