PowerSave Campus Internship Comes to a Successful End

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 16:56:00 CDT  — by: Clesi Bennett, C'13, Sustainability Post-Baccalaureate Fellow


jonathanThis month marks the end of the two-year PowerSave Campus internship program at Sewanee. The internship, funded by the Tennessee Valley Authority and managed by the Alliance to Save Energy, focused on energy efficiency through four pillars: real energy savings, academic infusion, outreach, and green workforce development.

Sewanee’s PowerSave Campus interns, Jonathan Brenes-Salazar (C’13), Jordan Long (C’14), Grace Saunders (C’14), Clesi Bennett (C’13), Jane Brown (C’13), Gabby Freeman (C’13), and Joanna Parkman (C’14), were able to achieve these goals through a myriad of projects and engagements.

Some of their real energy savings were accomplished through: hosting two “Sewanee Unplugged” dorm energy competitions, developing a Green Office Certification program, implementing a T8 lighting optimization project, implementing a low-flow faucet optimization project, performing an LED lighting retrofit of the indoor tennis courts, undertaking a study of greening student laundry operations, preforming energy audits of McClurg Dining Hall and the Chapel of the Apostles, and finally developing and implementing an HVAC temperature policy.

Some of their outreach and academic infusion successes were hosting a green career panel and luncheon, developing programming for freshman orientation, helping the Sewanee Outreach Office with the Utility Conservation Program by performing energy audits and retrofits on low-income homes in the surrounding communities, leading sustainability sessions with the Sewanee Environmental Institute’s pre-college field studies program, hosting sustainability documentary screenings, and hosting awareness-raising events such as a sustainability street festival and an earth hour.


These interns were also able to network with students from other universities interested in sustainability by attending four convergences hosted by TVA and the Alliance to Save Energy. The final convergence was even held on Sewanee’s campus. (Read about it here). Furthermore, this networking was extended by the PowerSave Campus Interns’ involvement with the Tennessee Alumni and Students for Sustainable Campuses (TASSC), even hosting the fall 2012 TASSC Summit.

The most recent measurable energy savings achieved by the PowerSave inters were 392,129 kWh (or $39,212.60) annually by removing roughly 2,200 T8 32 watt bulbs and exchanging the approximate remaining 3,500 32 watt bulbs with 25 watt bulbs in their lighting optimization project. 

Interns also recently saved 787,656 gallons of water (or $16,777) annually by installing 225 faucet aerators on dorm sinks. Although the PowerSave Campus Internship is coming to a close, the projects undertaken by the aforementioned students will not end. Sewanee hopes to continue to work with the Alliance to Save Energy to continue to achieve more real energy savings through student engagement for years to come


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