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Baltimore’s Energy Usage: Comparing Poor to Rich

I am a senior at Gilman High School in Baltimore, Maryland. In Baltimore, there is a lot of diversity in our communities, economically and ethnically. The poor and the rich are mostly divided all throughout the city. Even through this separation exists, everyone gets their energy from Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE). Money plays a big role in the lives of everyone, so I thought it would be interesting if I look towards the idea of saving energy will also save money. With the divide between the poor and rich in Baltimore I decided to send 5 personal energy audits to those who live in poverty and 5 to those who are among the rich. I believe by doing this I will get the information I need to see how both sides live and help each side save money.Using data from both sides will help me get a more accurate depiction of how Baltimore as a whole can save money, and help everyone in the city contribute less to global warming. I hope that this initiative will spread throughout Baltimore so that people can save more money and also help save the planet. I think that the wealthy inevitably spend more money and use more energy than those of the less fortunate. As I calculated my data I found that what I thought was exactly true. My data collection shows that the wealthy use more energy and inevitably cause more harm to the earth. All the following charts averages of the total data  I collected from each household.

 

The chart above describes the energy usage and cost of things such as Computer use, Video games, Watching tv, etc…

 

The chart above describes the energy usage and cost of lights used in the home.

 

The chart above describes the energy usage and cost of using and charging cell phones and telephones.

 

I interviewed a few people who I got to fill out the audits and I received very good feedback.  Here are a few revealing quotes:

“I didn’t know leaving things plugged in cost me a lot of extra money per year.”

“Taking a shorter shower can save money and energy”

“I’m going to share this audit with my fellow-workers to help them save as well”

 

Through my research, I found that Baltimore is now making an initiative to help the less fortunate to increase their use of energy using solar power. They are putting solar panels on the rooftops of the less fortunate to enabled them to generate more power in their home at a reduced cost.

https://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/rooftop-solar-and-job-training-low-income-baltimore-neighborhood.html

I will attach a link to a mini-survey, just asking a few simple questions about your thoughts on energy in your home. The second link I will attach will be the link to download and fill out a full energy audit so that you can see for yourself how much money and energy you can save each day.I will attach a link to a mini-survey, replicating some of the questions from an energy audit. The second link I will attach will be the link to download and fill out a full energy audit so that you can see for yourself how much money and energy you can save each day.

Create your own user feedback survey

    1. http://www.ei.lehigh.edu/eli/energy/resources/handouts/activities/Energy_audit_handout_student.pdf

 

 

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COMMENTS: 4
  1. April 28, 2017 by Kathryn Wilson

    What are the results of the survey?

  2. April 29, 2017 by Ben W.

    Donald – Thanks for raising the issue of the difference in energy usage between rich and poor. I liked learning about Baltimore’s initiative in lower income neighborhoods to help get solar panels installed on roofs. Does Baltimore Gas and Electric have programs to help lower income families deal with energy poverty and access? Ben

  3. May 01, 2017 by Georgina Steel

    Hey Donald. This project was a great idea…It is very revealing of the amount on energy different socioeconomic classes use. I have never seen the results of poor vs wealthy in such a shocking bar graph like this. I think it is very powerful and you should share it with a lot of people. Were you able to share them with you school? Also do you know if wealthy neighborhoods are also installing solar to use more renewable energy and reduce their footprint?

  4. May 03, 2017 by Wade O

    Hey Donald, loved how you brought the issues of energy poverty to the forefront of your presentation. Any way we can see the results to the survey that would be awesome.

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