Residential electricity consumption in Portugal: Findings from top-down and bottom-up models
An econometric study of the Portuguese residential electricity consumption is presented, with a focus on the influence of dwelling characteristics on consumption. The relationship between the dwelling and household characteristics on per capita residential electricity consumption is estimated at two different scales, involving two distinct databases: the first includes data at the municipality level for 2001, the second is the most recent Portuguese consumer expenditure survey that was collected in 2005 and 2006. The results of the analysis at both scales are consistent and indicate that household and dwelling characteristics have a significant influence on residential electricity consumption. Our results show that in Portugal the direct effect of income on electricity consumption is low and becomes smaller when more relevant control variables are included in the analysis. Future demand of electricity in Portugal will be significantly influenced by trends in socioeconomic factors as well as changes in the building stock. These trends should be taken in consideration in the formulation of policy measures to reduce electricity consumption.
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