Household energy consumption in the United States
LE3 .A278 2013
Bachelor of Arts
Residential energy consumption is a major component of the American national energy profile. When addressing issues of greenhouse gas emissions, understanding what factors contribute to residential energy consumption becomes crucial. This thesis uses regression analysis to determine what these factors are and isolate for their relative impacts on the amount of energy consumed. The data comes from the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey. Geographic region, weather, dwelling characteristics, appliance characteristics, behavioral characteristics, and input prices are found to significantly contribute to household energy consumption. Dwelling characteristics, behavioral characteristics, and demographic characteristics have the greatest relative impacts on energy consumed. The effect of appliance efficiency on energy consumption is examined. Results indicate that the energy efficiency of appliances do not significantly impact the energy consumed by the household. This lays the groundwork for further research to test Jevon’s Paradox using efficiency measures that go beyond appliance efficiency. Moreover, results indicate that in landlord-tenant utility agreements tenants consume more energy when they are not directly responsible for payment. This provides evidence of a principal-agent issue in landlord-tenant energy bill payment agreements.
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