Making energy efficiency desirable : lessons from a cutting-edge program in Minneapolis
Author(s)Stern, Stephanie (Stephanie B.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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For the last 30 years, experts have claimed that energy efficiency upgrades in existing buildings can lead to significant reductions in energy use, yet efficiency programs, particularly those geared towards households, have failed to meet expectations. Through interviews with participants of the Community Energy Services program in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I identify the barriers to investing in energy efficiency facing homeowners, even with a cutting-edge program that combines technical and financial assistance and seeks to create neighborhood norms around addressing energy efficiency. I argue that it is important to distinguish between financial and logistical barriers and emotional or psychological barriers. Both are important to convince a homeowner to take action, yet Community Energy Services, like many other programs, focuses too much on the former, while failing to make a compelling emotional argument for the majority of their participants. The Community Energy Services program improves on previous energy efficiency programs by simplifying the process and supporting the homeowner. It provides a promising model that, once strengthened with a more convincing emotional argument for upgrades, could be a breakthrough to significant reductions in energy use.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 42-45).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.