Eliza Harrison is currently a junior at Santa Fe Preparatory School. As a dedicated member of the Santa Fe community, Eliza recently joined the Atalaya Search and Rescue Team in hopes that she would be able to put to use her recently acquired Wilderness First Responder Medical training to use. Along with her medical training, Eliza works for Generation Next – a section of the Santa Fe New Mexican written by and for teenagers. Her interest and passion for the outdoors is also notable. Since she was one and a half years old, Eliza has been an avid skier. Upon reaching the age of eight, Eliza made the switch to telemark skiing. Along with skiing, Eliza is an enthusiastic whitewater canoeist, kayaker, and hiker. Her love and passion for the outdoors is deeply engrained within her – a characteristic that accounts for her desire to help reduce the effects of climate change. Overall, Eliza is a spirited, enthusiastic, and passionate teenager who hopes to have a significant impact on the world around her.
Year(s) Awarded: 2013
Changing Households to Change Communities
I would like to oversee the installation of power monitors in 250 households in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, San Miguel and Taos counties. This could lead to significant behavioral adaptations. In turn, by reducing energy expenditures, participating households will save money and reduce their fossil fuel emissions.
Notwithstanding the value and power of technological innovation and investment, the most potent opportunity for affecting a reduction in CO2 emissions – and correspondingly, climate impacts – will involve changes in values and behavior. In our communitarian culture, changing the life of a household can translate into a change of practice for an entire community. To encourage behavior change, however, we need to advance initiatives that offer a combination economic, environmental, social and educational value.
Power monitoring is an accessible, cost-effective and proven technique for reducing household and commercial power consumption. Devices such as the Blue Line PowerCost Monitor BLI 28000 can be a simple and cost effective means of monitoring general kilowatt usage, as well as kilowatt demands by device (i.e., TVs, washing machines). Technologies such as this can be programmed to calculate energy costs by device real time. By making energy use visible – and their attendant costs – households have been able to reduce their energy demands by 15-20% per month.
A low cost power monitor (est. $115 per device), allows a household to observe their energy consumption and expenses. By making the energy use of a home visible, behaviorists have found a significant corresponding reduction in energy use. A reduction in electricity demand, in turn, creates scalable opportunities for carbon emission reductions.
With support from the Kindle Project, I would like to oversee the installation of power monitors in households in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, San Miguel and Taos counties. At a cost of approximately $3,000, the test project could support 250 households – potentially reducing their energy demand and saving participants as much as $250 per year. Working with volunteers and students at the Santa Fe Community College, I am prepared to design and implement a monitoring program that will demonstrate the efficacy of this initiative in 2014.
Eliza’s vision as to how her community would be different if her idea was to succeed:
In the The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg observes, “Once you’ve figured out your habit loop – you’ve identified the reward driving your behavior, the cue triggering it, and the routine itself – you can begin to shift the behavior. “ If low cost power monitors were installed in 250 households of northern NM, significant behavioral adaptations could be encouraged. In turn, by reducing energy expenditures, participating households will save money and their fossil fuel emissions will be reduced.
Leveraging the professional and community relationships of The Kindle Project, I will be able to finance the acquisition and install of 250 power monitors to track electrical demand and its corresponding emission reduction. The Kindle Project’s involvement will allow me to attract supplemental funding for the initiative – ensuring that its scale and storytelling value for policymakers and agency staff will be significantly enhanced.