Answers to some of your questions
Q: What if I have students who do not have access to their PG&E data?
A: Although most (80-90%) students will have access to a PG&E account, there are always a few (students living in the dorms, students living in Santa Clara or Palo Alto, students with grumpy landlords etc.), who can’t get access to their daily energy data. We can ask them to get access to a PG&E account from a friend or family member and then assume the role of an energy consultant advising their ‘client’ on how to reduce their energy use. In the past, this has worked out pretty well without any issues. Relatedly, you could also allow a student to pair up with another student who has access to the data, although this is not ideal.
Q: What if I only want to conduct the activity for one week or 5 weeks?
A: While we encourage you to set at least two weeks for your baseline period and two weeks for the conservation period, it is entirely up to you how long you can try out the activity for! Even once you start the activity, you can always extend or shorten the duration of a period to fit your class schedule.
Q: It seems that some students don’t have natural gas data. Why is that?
A: Although many homes use natural gas for heating and cookings, some homes use electricity for everything including their water and space heaters and their stove. In those cases, you’ll probably notice that their home electricity usage is a bit higher since they don’t use natural gas.
Q: The natural gas data seems a bit odd. Some days it shows 0 therms. How could that be?
A: PG&E only records natural gas usage in near single units of therms (e.g., 1.01, 2.02 etc.) and thus isn’t able to track daily data with as much accuracy as with the electricity data. So if your true natural gas usage on day 1 was 0.5 therms and on day 2 was 0.6 therms, PG&E would record this on day 1 as 0 therms and day 2 as 1.01 therms.
Q: Will my students win a prize
A: It’s possible! Each class that completes the activity is automatically eligible to win individual and class prizes, with at least one prize awarded to each class. Prizes include Green Ninja t-shirts, LED lightbulbs and pizza parties for a class.