People Don’t Use Energy, Buildings Do!?

People Don’t Use Energy, Buildings Do!?
28th November 2016 Alison Parker

What determines residential energy consumption?


This research aims at understanding to what extent different classes of variables predict residential energy and electricity consumption. Using a national representative survey, the EFUS survey, we look at how much of the variability in energy / electricity consumption is due to building variables, socio-demographics, attitudes and behaviour, and for total energy consumption, heating behaviour, and for electricity use appliance ownership and use.

Key Findings

  • Total energy use is largely explained by building variables, in particular building size.
  • Socio-demographic variables add significantly to explained variance whereas other people variables do not.
  • For electricity use (excluding space heating), appliance use and ownership are most important predictors.
  • Multicollinearity is an issue when looking at determinants of energy consumption.


Figure 1 – Comparison of modelled factors’ impact on variability of energy usage