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New Approaches for Household Energy Conservation: In Search of Personal Household Energy Budgets and Energy Reduction Options

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Energy Policy, Volume 34, Number 18, p.3612-3622 (2006)



Household energy reduction, Indirect energy, Personalization and feedback


Large-scale energy reduction campaigns focusing on households generally have two shortcomings. First, an energy reduction campaign is either personalized but time intensive or time extensive but generalized. Second, because only the direct energy requirements are addressed, only 50% of the total household energy requirement is subject to reduction. The other 50.; the indirect energy requirement, is much more difficult to calculate and address and therefore not subject to reduction. In this paper, we describe a web-based tool that has the potential to overcome both of these shortcomings. The tool addresses direct as well as indirect energy requirements. By means of a simple expert system participants obtain personalized reduction options and feedback on the energy reduced. The tool was tested in Groningen (the Netherlands) with a sample of 300 households, resulting in a direct energy reduction of about 8.5% compared to a control group. The reduction in indirect energy was not statistically significant.