David Mason – Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering
Carson Rinkenberger – Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering
Eli Silva – Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering
School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Challenge: Solving Market Adoption for Emerging Efficiency Technologies
Problem Definition: Develop an innovative, holistic solution that will increase the accessibility, purchase, installation, and use of energy efficiency technologies in buildings (residential, commercial, new, or existing). This will lead to reductions in energy use and carbon emissions, and fewer inequalities in obtaining new technologies for identified stakeholder groups.
Project Title: Ensuring That Pacific Northwest Residents Get Efficient Air Conditioners
Solution: Our project aims to provide a solution to communities and lower income households in Pacific Northwest cities like Seattle and Portland. These cities have recently experienced extremely hot summers compared to past years. Many households in these areas do not have air conditioners, and many lower income residents cannot afford the initial investment in an AC unit or the higher monthly electricity bill from running these high energy consuming units. Our solution proposes a government program that provides funds for these residents to make the initial investment of buying an AC unit. The solution also subsidizes electricity rates during the statistically hotter period of the year to lower the month-to-month cost of running AC units while ensuring that energy companies do not lose money from discounting energy rates.