Carolann Cook

Date of Graduation


Document Type



The study examined behavioral, attitudinal, and demographic data from households which had participated in an on-site home energy audit service, the Energy Conservation Corps (ECC). Focusing on households which had received home energy audits from 1990 to 1992, the study was designed to develop a demographic profile of ECC audit program participants, ascertain ECC households' perceptions of the benefits of the program and of the influence of the audit on their energy-use behavior, identify factors associated with conservation behavior among ECC households, and obtain information useful in the design of energy education outreach programs. The sample consisted of 421 households selected randomly using a stratified sampling procedure. Mail surveys were completed and returned by 140 households for a 33-percent response rate. Statistical procedures used for analyzing data were number and percent distributions, the chi-square test of significance, and Yates' correction for continuity. Most respondents indicated their household had not participated in a home energy inventory prior to the audit provided by the ECC. The results suggest that those who participated in the ECC audit were not a cross-section of the general population. Although the ECC service was available to most residential households in West Virginia, the findings of the study indicate those who participated tend to live in single-family homes that they own, have higher educational and income levels, occupy larger than average homes, and view themselves as knowledgeable about energy conservation. Results support the conclusion that in general ECC households were aware of the benefits of energy conservation and have made considerable efforts to obtain those benefits. Data analysis revealed home ownership was positively and consistently related to conservation adoption. Those who owned their housing unit were more likely than those who rented their home to have taken conservation steps. ECC households' perception of the audit service and awareness and use of information sources were not systematically related to conservation behavior. Recommendations included application of the ECC program model to other educational audiences and program areas.