Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Tanja Srebotnjak

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© 2015 Jenna Perelman


This thesis uses a case study of the Community Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP) and it analyzes the larger statewide effort in California to increase energy efficiency in existing residential buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CHERP’s primary strategy is to embed itself into a community, educate residents on the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, and inspire them to take energy-saving actions in their own homes. It then builds its own community by connecting like-minded individuals together and provides an opportunity for them to exercise their political agency. This thesis analyzes CHERP’s effort in the context of the political, social, and economic climate of California. It identifies three obstacles for widespread energy efficiency adoption: one, CHERP’s lack of funding to support permanent staff and pay for collateral materials; two, low access to energy efficiency measures for low-income households and renters; and three, a lack of high quality home performance contractors that perform energy efficiency upgrades utilizing a whole-house energy systems approach. The thesis concludes with five recommendations to overcome these issues.