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Demand-side management (Electric utilities), Climatic changes, City planning -- Environmental aspects


There is considerable variation across households in energy use, even within similar climates and housing styles. There is also considerable variation in energy savings following upgrades of housing and appliances. We combine empirical data on household consumption with advanced simulation modeling techniques to investigate just how much behavior matters in determining consumption levels. compared to weather, technology and building characteristics. We explore several new concepts, including the BETA (building, environment, technology, activity) Model of household energy use, a habitation zone approach that can be used to differentiate BETA effects, and a hybrid (simulation/ statistical) end-use consumption analysis approach. For illustrative purposes, we report the consumption dynamics within three representative dwelling types, located in four different California climate zones, and occupied by a range of households. We also consider energy saving potentials from building retrofits and appliance replacement under different occupancy/activity conditions. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for energy efficiency policies and programs of our findings that behavior may determine up to 2/3 of typical home energy use, or more depending on heating and cooling requirements and environmental conditions.


The goal of this project is to develop next-generation models, data sources, policy and technology analyses to provide an improved understanding of residential demand for natural gas, both directly consumed and through electricity demands. The results are intended to improve energy policies and energy efficiency programs, to accelerate the reduction of California greenhouse gas emissions, and to help develop improved modes of decision support for policies.

©2012 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

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