Disentangling household and individual actors in explaining private electricity consumption
Publication from Life
Internationale Klimapolitik und -ökonomik
Seebauer S., Wolf A.
Energy Efficiency 10(1), 1-20, 2017
Previous research often regard household and individual as synonymous actors, although the overall household electricity consumption is the aggregate of diverging actions by individual household members. We disentangle the impact of actor-specific predictors on household and individual electricity consumption, employing regression models to data of 204 Austrian multi-person households. Predictors add more to the explained variance of household and individual electricity consumption if they are located at the same actor level as the dependent variable. While household electricity consumption is best predicted by the household context and value/knowledge factors, individual electricity consumption depends foremost on habit and whether a person stays at home during the day. The study exemplifies that future research and interventions need to decompose actor levels to better understand and target the drivers of private electricity consumption. Methodological challenges in measuring individual and household consumption behaviour are discussed.