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Understanding the spectrum of domestic energy consumption: Empirical evidence from France

Belaïd, Fateh
Energy Policy 2016 v.92 pp. 220-233
correspondence analysis, energy, energy costs, households, issues and policy, multivariate analysis, neutralization, surveys, France
This article focuses on residential energy consumption in France. Using a bottom-up statistical approach, this analysis explores determinants of household energy consumption using data from the most recent National Housing Survey. The primary objective is to tease out the impacts of various factors on the domestic energy consumption spectrum across different population groups. The aim of this approach is to neutralize conventional factors affecting energy consumption (age of house, total area, etc.) to finely analyze the impact of other determinants including those relating to household characteristics and other control variables.First, we define homogeneous consumption groups of households by using multivariate statistical techniques, namely the Multiple Correspondence Analysis and Ascending Hierarchical Classification. Second, we use standard OLS regression to explore the effects of various factors on domestic energy consumption among homogeneous groups of households. This multivariate analysis exercise has led us to identify four main consumption typologies. Results revealed that energy prices were the most important factors determining domestic energy consumption. In addition, this study showed that occupant characteristics significantly affect domestic energy use. Results of this research call for combine all efforts, multiple strategies and smart policies, to incorporate household and consumption behaviors in managing domestic energy consumption.