A Conceptual Framework to Understand Households’ Energy Consumption

Veronique Vasseur*, Anne-Francoise Marique , Vladimir Udalov

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Households’ energy consumption has received a lot of attention in debates on urban sustainability and housing policy due to its possible consequences for climate change. In Europe, the residential sector accounts for roughly one third of the energy consumption and is responsible for 16% of total CO2 emissions. Households have been progressively highlighted as the main actor that can play a substantial in the reduction of this energy use. Their behavior is a complex and hard to change process that combines numerous determinants. These determinants have already been extensively studied in the literature from a variety of thematic domains (psychology, sociology, economics, and engineering), however, each approach is limited by its own assumptions and often omit important energy behavioral components. Therefore, energy behavior studies require an integration of disciplines through interdisciplinary approaches. Based on that knowledge, this paper introduces a conceptual framework to capture and understand households’ energy consumption. The paper aims at connecting objective (physical and technical) with subjective (human) aspects related to energy use of households. This combination provide the answers to the ‘what’, the ‘how’ and most importantly the ‘why’ questions about people’s behavior regarding energy use. It allows clarifying the numerous internal and external factors that act as key determinants, as well as the need to take into account their interactions. By doing so, we conclude the paper by discussing the value of the conceptual framework along with valuable insights for researchers, practitioners and policymakers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number4250
    Number of pages22
    JournalEnergies
    Volume12
    Issue number22
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

    Keywords

    • households; energy consumption; pro-environmental behavior;
    • conceptual framework
    • pro-environmental behavior
    • CAR USE
    • DETERMINANTS
    • CONSERVATION BEHAVIOR
    • ELECTRICITY-SAVING BEHAVIOR
    • households
    • PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOR
    • DECISION-PROCESS
    • USER ACCEPTANCE
    • CONSUMER-BEHAVIOR
    • STAGE MODEL
    • energy consumption
    • REDUCE

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