Kristie Liao, 2013, Economics

This summer I worked on energy related initiatives as an intern at Isles, a nonprofit community development and environmnetal organization based in Trenton, New Jersey. I performed research for a pilot program that Isles plans to conduct beginning in the fall of 2010. The pilot program, to be conducted in low-income households over a period of six months, will seek to assess the impact of real-time feedback on household energy consumptions levels using energy monitors. I contributed to this project by reviewing existing literature and studies on the effect of various forms of feedback on energy consumption levels. I developed and presented a multi-stage proposal for the implementation of the pilot program and reviewed possible technologies to be used in this project. It was particularly exciting to work on this project as few pilot programs of this nature have been conducted in low-income households. I was also involved in energy education initiatives. I had the opportunity to teach Trenton students at a summer camp about different types of energy such as renewable versus nonrenewable sources and ways to conserve energy. Finally, I was involved in the preliminary stages of assembling a database of abandoned buildings in Trenton. This work entailed field work in which I reported on the conditions of buildings within the Old Trenton Neighborhood. This internship was a great introduction to the unique energy and housing challenges that the city of Trenton faces.