Do Habitual Energy Saving Behaviors of Household Heads Impact Energy Consumption in Their Own Dwelling? An Exploration in the French Residential Sector

39 Pages Posted: 11 May 2020

See all articles by Adan L. Martinez-Cruz

Adan L. Martinez-Cruz

Department of Forest Economics, SLU; CERE; ETH Zürich - Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE)

Dorothée Charlier

University of Savoie Mont Blanc

Date Written: April 15, 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates whether habitual energy saving behaviors of a household head impact actual energy consumption in his/her own dwelling. In doing so, this paper compares actual energy consumption across French households that, with exception of household heads’ energy saving behaviors, are similar in observables –including household composition and dwellings’ energy efficiency. Comparisons are carried out within three subsets of households, based on renovation status of dwellings –i) no renovation; ii) with renovations tackling health- and/or energy-related issues; and iii) with renovations aiming to increase thermal comfort. No differences in actual energy consumption are documented across the three subsamples. We interpret this result as suggesting that habitual energy saving behaviors of household heads may not compensate energy intensive behaviors of other household members and, consequently, may produce no discernible impact on their own dwelling’s energy consumption. This result highlights the potential for misleading conclusions when imputing the energy saving behaviors of the household head to the entire household –a conventional practice in a number of literatures. The French residential sector is taken as study case due to the uniqueness and richness of data collected by PHEBUS –the Performances of Housing, Energy Equipment, Needs and Uses of Energy Survey.

Keywords: Habitual energy saving behaviors; household head’s preferences, energy performance gap, French residential sector, propensity score matching

JEL Classification: Q41, Q49

Suggested Citation

Martinez-Cruz, Adan L. and Charlier, Dorothée, Do Habitual Energy Saving Behaviors of Household Heads Impact Energy Consumption in Their Own Dwelling? An Exploration in the French Residential Sector (April 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3577223 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3577223

Adan L. Martinez-Cruz (Contact Author)

Department of Forest Economics, SLU ( email )

S-901 83 Umea
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Adan_Martinez-Cruz

CERE ( email )

Almas Allé 10
Umeå, 750 07
Sweden

ETH Zürich - Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE) ( email )

8092 Zurich
Switzerland
+41 44 633 80 97 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eepe.ethz.ch/people/madan

Dorothée Charlier

University of Savoie Mont Blanc ( email )

4 Chemin de Bellevue
Annecy, 74940
France

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