Author (Your Name)

Sarah Kelly, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Environmental Studies Program


F. Russell Cole

Second Advisor

Thomas H. Tietenberg


This thesis research began in the fall; around the same time President Adams predicted that the school would pay one million dollars more than budgeted this academic year on energy due to the rising energy prices (Adams, pers. comm.). Students, their families, and the college would bear this monetary burden. Solutions that lower energy costs would benefit many different parties. Dorms use a large amount of energy. Unlike many energy demands on campus that are relatively constant, dorm rooms are flexible in their energy use because students can change their energy use patterns. Many areas of energy waste characterize dorm room life at Colby. Numerous opportunities exist to address these problem areas such as reducing wasted heat and turning off appliances when not in use. Awareness education may play a role. Many students appear misinformed about sound energy practices. Despite dialogue between students and staff/administration, this research indicates much remains to be discussed and changed. The gap between energy use knowledge and practice must be narrowed at Colby and by providing the basic analysis needed to understand the nature of the problem, this thesis is intended as one step in that process.


Universities and colleges -- Energy consumption -- Maine -- Waterville, Dormitories -- Energy consumption -- Maine -- Waterville, Colby College -- Buildings -- Environmental aspects, Dormitories -- Energy conservation, College students -- Attitudes