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A Cultural Model of Household Energy Consumption

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Energy-The International Journal, Number 17, p.47-60 (1992)



In this paper, we consider the development of demand-side research, from an early interest in conservation behavior to a later focus on physical, economic, psychological and social models of energy consumption. Unfortunately, none of these models account satisfactorily for measured energy consumption in the residential sector. Growing interest in the end-uses of energy (e.g. in support of load forecasting, demand-side management and least-cost utility planning), increasing international studies of energy use, and continuing work in the energy and lifestyles research tradition now support an emerging cultural perspective on household energy use. The ecological foundations of the cultural model and its applications in energy research are discussed, along with some of the analytic consequences of this approach.