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

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Energy Efficiency, Climate Change Mitigation Planning, Modeling, Energy Policy


This research examines variation in average household energy consumption for space heating in municipalities in Massachusetts in order to explore the magnitude of variation among communities and potential causes. A dataset that aggregates natural gas consumption at the municipal level is used for a sample of municipalities in Massachusetts. Based upon this data, a regression model is developed to determine building and household occupancy characteristics that influence household energy consumption. The findings suggest dwelling size, tenure, and age are related to average household energy consumption.

Based upon these findings, recommendations are developed for the restructuring of federal and state level energy efficiency programs.


First Advisor

Elisabeth M. Hamin

Second Advisor

Henry Renski