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Characterisation of Australian apartment electricity demand and its implications for low-carbon cities

Roberts, Mike B., Haghdadi, Navid, Bruce, Anna, MacGill, Iain
Energy 2019 v.180 pp. 242-257
cities, cluster analysis, cost effectiveness, data collection, demography, electricity, emissions, energy efficiency, energy resources, households, issues and policy, planning, residential housing
Understanding of residential electricity demand has application in efficient building design, network planning and broader policy and regulation, as well as in planning the deployment of energy efficiency technologies and distributed energy resources with potential emissions reduction benefits and societal and household cost savings. Very few studies have explored the specific demand characteristics of apartments, which house a growing proportion of the global urban population.We present a study of apartment electricity loads, using a dataset containing a year of half-hourly electricity data for 6,000 Australian households, to examine the relationship between dwelling type, demographic characteristics and load profile. The focus on apartments, combined with the size of the data set, and the representative seasonal load profiles obtained through clustering full annual profiles, is unique in the literature. We find that median per-occupant household electricity use is 21% lower for apartments than for houses and that, on average, apartments have lower load factor and higher daily load variability, and show greater diversity in their daily peak times, resulting in a lower coincidence factor for aggregations of apartment loads. Using cluster analysis and classification, we also show the impact of dwelling type on the shape of household electricity load profiles.