Determinants of high electrical energy demand in UK homes: socio-economic and dwelling characteristics

2015-07-10T13:46:22Z (GMT) by Rory V. Jones Kevin J. Lomas
This paper provides an analysis of the socio-economic and dwelling factors contributing to high electrical energy demand in UK domestic buildings. The socio-economic, dwelling and electricity consumption data were collected during a large-scale, city-wide survey, carried out in Leicester, UK, in 2009–2010. Annual electrical energy demand was estimated for 315 dwellings and an odds ratio analysis used to identify the socio-economic and dwelling factors that led to high electricity consumption. The effects of a number of socio-economic and dwelling factors which have not previously been studied for the UK domestic sector are included. Thus, for the first time, presence of teenagers, having electric space heating as the primary form of heating, portable electric heating and electric water heating were identified as significant drivers of high electricity demand in UK homes. The employment status and education level of the Household Representative Person, the number of floors in a dwelling, presence of fixed electric heating, and the proportion of low-energy lighting were shown to have no effect on high electricity consumption in UK homes. Given the impetus to reduce electricity consumption and CO2 emissions from the domestic sector, these observations can help shape energy saving campaigns and future energy policy.