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Factors affecting wood energy consumption by U.S. households

Author

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  • Song, Nianfu
  • Aguilar, Francisco X.
  • Shifley, Stephen R.
  • Goerndt, Michael E.

Abstract

About 23% of energy derived from woody sources in the U.S. was consumed by households, of which 70% was used by households in rural areas in 2005. We investigated factors affecting household-level wood energy consumption in the four continental U.S. regions using data from the U.S. Residential Energy Consumption Survey. To account for a large number of zero observations (i.e., households that do not burn wood), left-censored Tobit models were estimated. Urban/rural location is a key determinant of level of household wood energy consumption. Wood energy consumption elasticity with respect to non-wood energy price changes was 1.55 at the U.S. level, and a much higher 2.30 among rural households. While household wood energy consumption was affected primarily by non-wood energy price in rural areas, it was influenced mainly by household size and level of income in urban areas. Elasticity of wood energy consumption with respect to income can be positive or negative depending on household urban/rural location, region and income level. Newer houses were found to use less wood energy than older ones, and greater urbanization was found to have negative effect on wood energy use. Our findings suggest that policies reducing relative wood energy cost or increasing non-wood energy prices in the residential sector will result in greater wood energy consumption in the U.S. The effect of policies may vary by region and are likely to be more effective in U.S. rural areas and in the U.S. Midwest in particular.

Suggested Citation

  • Song, Nianfu & Aguilar, Francisco X. & Shifley, Stephen R. & Goerndt, Michael E., 2012. "Factors affecting wood energy consumption by U.S. households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 389-397.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:389-397
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2011.12.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. San, Vibol & Spoann, Vin & Ly, Dalin & Chheng, Ngov Veng, 2012. "Fuelwood consumption patterns in Chumriey Mountain, Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 335-346.
    2. Damette, Olivier & Delacote, Philippe & Lo, Gaye Del, 2018. "Households energy consumption and transition toward cleaner energy sources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 751-764.
    3. Song, Nianfu & Aguilar, Francisco X. & Shifley, Stephen R. & Goerndt, Michael E., 2012. "Analysis of U.S. residential wood energy consumption: 1967–2009," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2116-2124.
    4. Bilgen, Selçuk & Keleş, Sedat & Sarıkaya, İkbal & Kaygusuz, Kamil, 2015. "A perspective for potential and technology of bioenergy in Turkey: Present case and future view," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 228-239.
    5. Couture, Stéphane & Garcia, Serge & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2012. "Household energy choices and fuelwood consumption: An econometric approach using French data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1972-1981.
    6. Mohammad Z. Hasan & Ronald A. Ratti, 2015. "Coal Sector Returns and Oil Prices: Developed and Emerging Countries," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 5(2), pages 515-524.
    7. Burke, Paul J. & Dundas, Guy, 2015. "Female Labor Force Participation and Household Dependence on Biomass Energy: Evidence from National Longitudinal Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 424-437.
    8. Lan-Cui Liu & Gang Wu & Yue-Jun Zhang, 2015. "Investigating the residential energy consumption behaviors in Beijing: a survey study," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 75(1), pages 243-263, January.
    9. Abubakar Hamid Danlami & Rabiul Islam & Shri Dewi Applanaidu, 2015. "An Analysis of the Determinants of Households’ Energy Choice: A Search for Conceptual Framework," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 5(1), pages 197-205.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Woody biomass; Bioenergy; Residential energy consumption; Demand; Tobit;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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