Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Denise Keele

Second Advisor

Ashley Anne Wick


The purpose of this study is to assess the status of home energy efficiency in Kalamazoo as well as the reasons why (or why not) a homeowner adopts energy efficiency and what their incentives and barriers are. In order to address these questions this study first relies on a literature review to offer insight on this complex topic and reveal the main incentives and barriers to energy efficiency already found by homeowners. Next a survey is completed by a total of thirty participants, fifteen homeowners from two separate neighborhoods of Kalamazoo, using socioeconomics as a variable. Where Milwood neighborhood acts as the lower socioeconomic income area and Westnedge Hill acts as the higher socioeconomic area. These questions are further explored during the survey using two educational prompts, which are also being tested as effective educational tools or not. An energy efficiency brochure, which was created by the Kalamazoo Climate Change Coalition. The brochure acts as an educational catalyst for homeowners of all demographics, providing information on adoptions of all prices and expertise levels. As well as an educational metaphor which assesses whether the term “climate change” has a negative bias on survey answers. The four study hypotheses include two questions regarding the influence of socioeconomics on home energy efficiency and another two regarding the educational prompts effectiveness. The responses gained from both the higher and lower socioeconomic class neighborhoods were then analyzed and further studied. Ultimately one hypothesis concerning socioeconomics was proven true while another was found false, and both educational hypothesizes were found inconclusive at this time. Results of this study found Kalamazoo residents have a good understanding of energy efficiency along with a general concern for climate change but overcoming found barriers, such as time and money, will be the next step in the advancement of home energy efficiency.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access