Me or My House? Investigating the Relative Importance of Household and Dwelling Characteristics for Household Energy Consumption

15 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2018

See all articles by Hassan Adan

Hassan Adan

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy

Franz Fuerst

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy; University of Melbourne; City University of New York - Center for Urban Research

Dimitra Kavarnou

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy

R Singh

Date Written: June 24, 2018

Abstract

In this study, we examine the drivers of household energy consumption, specifically investigating the relative importance of household socio-economic characteristics versus dwelling characteristics in explaining per capita gas consumption for space heating. The study draws upon a large random sample of households from the English Housing Survey (EHS) to understand the importance of, and interaction between, household and building characteristics. A multivariate OLS regression is used to identify the relative effects of various consumption drivers on gas used for space heating. The use of standardised coefficients allows for a discussion of the marginal contributions of each factor to energy consumption. The results show that variation in gas usage is largely determined by household socio-economic characteristics rather than physical dwelling characteristics. This includes the significant influence of household characteristics such as composition (or type), size, employment status, and income. The main contribution of the study is to underline the relative importance of household socio-economic characteristics over dwelling characteristics in explaining per capita energy consumption. The reported findings challenge the prevailing policy practice, which focuses purely on dwelling characteristics, disregarding the occupants’ status and energy consumption behaviour.

Keywords: energy consumption; households; dwellings; socio-economic characteristics

JEL Classification: R31; R28; D1

Suggested Citation

Adan, Hassan and Fuerst, Franz and Kavarnou, Dimitra and Singh, Ramandeep, Me or My House? Investigating the Relative Importance of Household and Dwelling Characteristics for Household Energy Consumption (June 24, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3254320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3254320

Hassan Adan

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

Franz Fuerst (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk/directory/dr-franz-fuerst

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

City University of New York - Center for Urban Research

CUNY The Graduate Center
New York, NY 10011
United States

Dimitra Kavarnou

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

No contact information is available for Ramandeep Singh

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