Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Industrial Engineering & Operations Research

Degree Type

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (M.S.I.E.O.R.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



renewable energy, uncertainty, decision support, energy efficiency


We present the process followed to create a decision-aid tool for use in renewable energy and energy efficiency investment decisions. Our tool is targeted at home and small business owners in the Pioneer Valley. We begin with the development of two prototype tools. The first was created for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, and is an Excel-based tool that allows users to select various combinations of technologies and instantly see the financial, environmental, and educational impacts of their choice. The second examines only two technologies, solar photovoltaics and combined heat and power, and uses a cost minimization approach. These prototype tools inform the development of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network (PVSN) decision-aid tool. The PVSN tool allows users to compare a building’s current energy consumption with the expected performance given the implementation of one or several renewable energy or energy efficient technologies. The PVSN tool evaluates financial costs along with externalities like emissions damages and health impacts. It also provides modeling of decision making under uncertain costs of damages from carbon emissions.


First Advisor

Erin D. Baker