On the confluence of city living, energy saving behaviours and direct residential energy consumption
The purpose of this study is to shed light on the connection between income, dwelling type, tenure type and city living, in terms of both a household’s energy saving behaviours and direct residential energy consumption. This study employs data from the Household Energy Consumption Survey, Australia. Using a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) system of equations the results reveal some key mechanisms which may allow householders to realise lower levels of energy consumption and hence lower carbon emissions. The results indicate that there are characteristics unique to living in a city that are linked to higher levels of direct residential energy consumption. On a number of measures (e.g. household income, tenure type and dwelling type), the results point to a lower likelihood of engaging in energy saving behaviours in cities. Also, depending on the number of energy saving behaviours, these actions have the potential to more than offset higher direct residential energy consumption of householders residing in separate houses. Coupled with these findings renters, a more vulnerable social group, are found to be significantly disadvantaged, suffering from a much lower adaptive capacity. Specifically, householders who rent their home are 77% less likely to have solar electricity. A result which may reflect differences in access to opportunity. Further, householders who rent are less likely to engage in energy saving actions. A finding which may reflect difference in ontological security and the greater psychological burden associated with undertaking energy saving behaviours (a barrier) borne by renters not shared with home owners.
Environmental Science & Policy
Urban Analysis and Development