Economics ETDs


Amber Riter

Publication Date



This research focuses on consumer valuation of the benefits associated with renewable electricity generation, specifically for water conservation. Previous contingent valuation studies in this area conclude that consumers are willing to pay for these benefits, but do not explicitly consider the environmental benefit of water conservation. The impact of this benefit is tested for a unique sample of New Mexican consumers by performing a split-sample study with a treatment variation in the benefit related information given to the respondent. The study is performed using the Internet survey mode for a sample population of 2000 University and University Hospital Staff. A response rate of 33.75% allows for 675 complete observations available for estimation. Willingness to pay is calculated following the Hanemann (1984) approach for different model specifications that adjust for certainty responses. These WTP measures are used to test for a significant difference between versions. I find that consumers do have an increased willingness to pay for the water conservation benefits of renewable energy projects in the full model as well as models adjusted for certainty.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Economics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Berrens, Robert

Second Committee Member

Chermak, Janie




contingent valuation, renewable energy, willingness to pay

Document Type