Residential Housing Renewable Energy Savings Calculator

Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis

First Advisor

Trevor Zink


Frequently renewable energy investment has been thwarted by principal-agent disconnects. Chief among these is the disconnect in the rental market between tenants and landlords; whereby, the tenant may desire to invest in renewable energy sources but has no means to. An additional disconnect occurs between homeowners and their utilities providers. This study seeks to explore the disconnect between tenants and landlords and better align their motivations through intelligent contract design for sustainable investment. If renewable energy is proven profitable as a long-term investment, landlords will be more apt to invest and collect an energy/utility fee included in the cost of the lease. The investment will also attract new tenants that value green infrastructure, and may be willing to pay a premium rent. An excel model will be used to assist developers and homeowners consider renewable energy production options. The model will take inputs such as your location, building type, and it will answer with the optimum mix of photo-voltaic solar and geothermal options to see what renewable investment provides the most cost savings. The model will eventually be able to switch to an environmental impact minimization mode, to show what investment is necessary to create a carbon neutral property. With the use of this excel model, developers and home owners will be empowered to better compare multiple renewable energy alternatives together and determine how they best complement each other.

Thesis Cover.pdf (109 kB)

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