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Household energy use and travel: Opportunities for behavioral change

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Transportation Research Part D-Transport and Environment, Volume 16, Number 1, p.49-56 (2011)



This study examines personal travel decisions and residentsí opinions on energy policy options in the Austin metropolitan area. The vast majority of respondents recognized global warming as a problem, and most agreed that lifestyle changes are needed to combat climate change. Many also believe that climate change can be combated by application of stricter policies in the areas of vehicle technology, fuel economy, and building design. Results of the study illuminate the importance of home-zone attributes on vehicle ownership, vehicle miles, and emissions. Most households agree that energy regulations should be pursued to curb global climate change, and most prefer caps on consumption over taxation. The results suggest that substantial US energy and greenhouse gas savings are likely to come from vehicle fuel-economy regulation, rebates on relatively fuel-efficient vehicle purchases, caps on maximum household energy use, and long-term behavioral shifts.