IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Changing of energy consumption patterns from rural households to urban households in China: An example from Shaanxi Province, China


  • Cai, Jing
  • Jiang, Zhigang


We chose five study sites, from a traditional village, the Laoxiancheng Village, in remote mountainous areas to towns, the Houzhenzi Xiang Township, the Mazhao Town and the Zhouzhi County Town, as well as in a modern city, Xi'an in the Shaanxi Province of China, to study differences in energy consumption between rural and urban households and to assess its conservation implications. This study confirmed the prediction of the 'ladder of fuel preferences' theory. Energies used in urban households are more convenient, cleaner, and more efficient than those used in rural areas, where biomass and coal are common fuel. The amount of energy used for entertainment and electric appliances is greater in urban areas, whereas the quantity used for cooking is larger in rural districts. People in Laoxiancheng Village completely depended on fuelwood for cooking and heating. In the Houzhenzi Xiang Township, 16.7% household use coal ball, and 23.3% use LPG. Electricity and fuelwood were used in each household. In the Mazhao Town, 96.7% households used crop residue, 90% used coal, about 30% use LPG, and every household used electricity. In the Zhouzhi County Town, of the entire sampled household, 92.7% used coal, 92.7% of household used LPG and 37.5% household used gasoline. In the Xi'an city, of the entire sampled household, 32.8% household used natural gas, 67.2% used LPG; about 34.9% household used gasoline, 48.6% household used electricity and 51.4% used natural gas for heating in winter. In the five study areas, the ratio of each energy source consumed per household was also different. In the Houzhenzi Xiang Township, coal took 6.2%, LPG 1.4%, electricity 1.4% and fuelwood 91%. In the Mazhao Town, crop residue took 31.4%, coal 62.2%, LPG 2.2%, and electricity 4.2%. In the Zhouzhi County Town, the importance of energy ranked as follows: coal 75.8%, LPG 12.8%, electricity 5%, and gasoline 6.4%. In the Xi'an city, LPG took 17.6%, natural gas 27.3%, gasoline 16.9%, and electricity 38.2%. Comparing total annual consumption, households in villages used more energy compared to the households in cities. The mean of total annual energy consumption was 79.57, 63.07, 37.75, 42.53, and 29.73Â GJ in the Laoxiancheng Village, Houzhenzi Xiang Township, Mazhao Town, Zhouzhi County Town, and Xi'an City, respectively. We should improve the efficiency of fuel burning and introduce cleaner energy resources, such as biogas and hydropower in villages. For the households in rural areas, it is necessary to substitute coal with other cleaner energy resources and it is more important and urgent for urban households to save energy, considering large population in cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Cai, Jing & Jiang, Zhigang, 2008. "Changing of energy consumption patterns from rural households to urban households in China: An example from Shaanxi Province, China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 1667-1680, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:12:y:2008:i:6:p:1667-1680

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reinders, A. H. M. E. & Vringer, K. & Blok, K., 2003. "The direct and indirect energy requirement of households in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 139-153, January.
    2. Jacobson, Arne & Milman, Anita D. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2005. "Letting the (energy) Gini out of the bottle: Lorenz curves of cumulative electricity consumption and Gini coefficients as metrics of energy distribution and equity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(14), pages 1825-1832, September.
    3. Mahlia, T.M.I. & Masjuki, H.H. & Saidur, R. & Choudhury, I.A. & NoorLeha, A.R., 2003. "Projected electricity savings from implementing minimum energy efficiency standard for household refrigerators in Malaysia," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 751-754.
    4. Wang, Xiaohua & Feng, Zhenmin, 2003. "Energy consumption with sustainable development in developing country: a case in Jiangsu, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(15), pages 1679-1684, December.
    5. Holtedahl, Pernille & Joutz, Frederick L., 2004. "Residential electricity demand in Taiwan," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 201-224, March.
    6. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Analysis of experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1253-1268, September.
    7. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Challenges, potentials and paradigm," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1437-1454, October.
    8. Bensel, Terrence G. & Remedio, Elizabeth M., 1995. "Residential energy use patterns in Cebu City, Philippines," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 173-187.
    9. Alam, Manzoor & Sathaye, Jayant & Barnes, Doug, 1998. "Urban household energy use in India: efficiency and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 885-891, September.
    10. Tiwari, Piyush, 2000. "Architectural, Demographic, and Economic Causes of Electricity Consumption in Bombay," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 81-98, January.
    11. Wang, Xiaohua & Feng, Zhengmin & Gao, xingfeng & Jiang, Kui, 1999. "On household energy consumption for rural development: a study on Yangzhong county of China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 493-500.
    12. Halvorsen, Bente & Larsen, Bodil M., 2001. "Norwegian residential electricity demand--a microeconomic assessment of the growth from 1976 to 1993," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 227-236, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:12:y:2008:i:6:p:1667-1680. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.