Survey Links & Qualifications

SERA Survey Qualifications & Experience

SERA (a WBE certified in several states including California) was established in 1990, and is a solid waste and energy efficiency research and consulting firm with a nationwide (and international) client base. SERA provides focused, actionable research to support and inform decision-making on solid waste options. SERA is a small firm with a national reputation, international client base, and nationally-recognized expertise.   


Key skills areas include: Stakeholder, public meetings, & focus group facilitation;  social marketing / behavioral program development and evaluation; program / policy planning & evaluation in trash, recycling, and yard and food waste (organics); commercial & residential strategy development; data collection and analysis (statistical analysis, surveys, set outs, characterization, case studies); rate studies and PAYT; integrated plans; cost modeling (collection, processing); service procurement, and cost-effectiveness work, and measurement / benchmarking assignments.   


SERA  has conducted more than 330 energy and over 200 recycling/solid waste project assignments in the US and internationally, and has published extensively on our project research.  Skumatz Economic Research Associates (SERA) works in program design and evaluation in recycling / solid waste integrated materials management, energy efficiency, and sustainability Our staff includes economists and analysts with experience in evaluation, surveys and statistics, quantitative research, and policy analysis.  SERA has a reputation for quantitative, data-based research, and for developing creative approaches to find practical (and affordable) methods to quantify complex or hard-to-measure impacts. We have presented the results of our research in 150 papers in trade journals, refereed journals, and national and international conference proceedings.    


SERA has extensive experience in all phases of detailed survey design, statistics, and analysis for research and program evaluation purposes.  We have conducted statistical surveys using random or stratified random approaches to collect data from households, businesses, program agencies, and communities.  These surveys have been used to gather data from communities on solid waste programs and facilities, costs, and local information to analyze program options. SERA has conducted thousands of residential and commercial surveys to gather data on attitudes (including self-efficacy), behaviors, awareness, demographics, willingness-to-pay, program preferences, and other data for solid waste plans. We have conducted in-depth interview work with stakeholders and market actors on market issues, costs, capacity, program and policy strengths and weaknesses, and many other topics. Dr. Skumtaz has conducted and analyzed validation surveys, determining the accuracy and consistency of phone, on-site, and mail surveys for particular types of questions; developed complex sampling designs; and is highly skilled in identification and treatment of survey bias and weighting and imputation methods (including refereed journal paper on the topic). She has conducted statistical and modeling work for solid waste projects, using standard questions and data, as well as more complex analyses like regression analysis, principal components, logit, hazard analyses / measure lifetime analyses, logit modeling from card rankings, and other methods. 


In the Energy Field, SERA has conducted hundreds of survey projects for utilities, including surveys of the variety of relevant actors for process evaluation (participant, non-participants, builders / developers, and other stakeholders). We have conducted surveys for appliance saturation and end use surveys (commercial). We have extensive experience conducting, managing, and analyzing large survey projects for evaluation, measure retention/persistence, net-to-gross, NEBs, market share impacts, targeting / marketing and other applications.  SERA has expertise in survey issues including bias identification, imputation and bias reduction approaches, weighting, and other topics.  



Sample Client Projects for Survey Work

Solid Waste Surveys

Commercial surveys / interviews / on-sites 

Dakota County, MN, Mecklenburg County NC, Santa Barbara, City and County of Denver, Minnesota SWMCB, Westminster CO, Boulder, Boulder County, Pitkin County, Mesa County, Superior CO, Seattle, California DTSC/NEMA, Vail CO, Edgewater CO, Anchorage, Oregon DEQ, Washington County OR, State of Wyoming, Product Stewardship Institute, others  


Residential surveys / interviews 

Westminster CO, Boulder, Boulder County, Asheville NC, Pitkin County, Mesa County, Superior CO, Edgewater CO, Fort Collins, Longmont CO, California DTSC, Santa Clarita CA, West Jordan UT, Anchorage, many others.   


Energy Surveys

Surveys and market research 

(NRDC, STEP/UP, ECW, PSE, SCL, NU, PG&E, SCE, NYSERDA, CEC, Sierra Pacific, WWP, BPA, CYC, NRDC) 

Commercial sector & stakeholder interviews 

(PG&E 4 programs, NYSERDA 7 programs, SCE 3 programs, Rightlights, Xcel Energy)