Energy Efficiency In San Marcos, Texas: Is Our Rebate Program Up to Code?
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The homes in San Marcos are aging. While new tracts pop up to meet the housing demands of the region, many of the homes near the city's core are over 20 years old. Even when adequately maintained, these older homes experience degradation of energy efficiency, particularly in the heating and cooling systems. Heating and cooling make up approximately 43% of the average electricity bill, so improving their efficiency is paramount in lowering energy use and utility bills. The City of San Marcos offers the Energy Efficient Home Rebate Program to reduce the cost of energy efficient home improvements for residential utility customers. In 2010, $42,424 in rebates was given, with 68 households receiving at least one rebate. Still, the program falls short, not reaching or educating enough potential customers to bring about significant change. This thesis explores and develops potential improvements to community outreach, education, as well as the rebate program itself, with a prospective goal of reducing the cumulative energy use of San Marcos homes by 1% within a 5-year period.