October 24, 2011

Assessing the Energy Efficiency Information Gap: Results from a Survey of Home Energy Auditors

by Karen L. Palmer, Margaret A. Walls, Hal Gordon and Todd Gerarden

- This paper reports the results of a survey of nearly 500 home energy auditors and contractors that Resources for the Future conducted in summer 2011. The survey asked about the characteristics of these businesses and the services they provide, the degree to which homeowners follow up on their recommendations, and the respondents’ opinions on barriers to home energy retrofits and the role for government. Findings from the survey suggest that the audit industry only partially is filling the information gap. Not enough homeowners know about or understand audits, and the follow-through on recommendations once they do have audits is incomplete. But the survey findings suggest that low energy prices and the high cost of retrofits may be more responsible for these outcomes than failures of information.

Karen L. Palmer, Margaret A. Walls, Hal Gordon and Todd Gerarden (2011). "Assessing the Energy Efficiency Information Gap: Results from a Survey of Home Energy Auditors." RFF Discussion Paper No. 11-42, Oct 2011.