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Title:Participation in a household energy audit and retrofit subsidy program
Author(s):Willwerth, Jacqueline
Advisor(s):Ando, Amy W.
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Energy Efficiency
Social Capital
Household Survey
Abstract:The growing demand for residential energy has led to the implementation of numerous programs aimed at increasing energy efficiency in existing homes. These programs are designed to lower the demand strain placed on utility systems, save households money on their monthly bills, and reduce related emissions. This paper examines the factors that influence household participation in efficiency programs including economic incentives, information effects, social pressures and household characteristics. The analysis uses data from the City of Urbana-Ameren Illinois partnership program which provided free energy audits and subsidies for insulation retrofits between 2010 and 2012. A survey administered to Urbana residents focusing on their program knowledge and neighborhood cohesion is used to test the effects of social capital on retrofit participation, while Census and tax assessors data are utilized to understand the importance of certain household characteristics on participation. Results suggest that in addition to characteristics directly related to energy savings potential, such as the year of construction, high neighborhood social capital is shown to be a defining characteristic of neighborhoods with program participants.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Jacqueline Willwerth
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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