Residential Energy Consumption in Urban China
Residential energy consumption (REC) is the second largest energy use category (10%) in China and urban residents account for most of the REC. Understanding the underlying drivers of variations of urban REC thus helps to identify challenges and opportunities and provide advices for future policy measures. This paper applies the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) to a decomposition of China’s urban REC during the period of 1998-2007 at disaggregated product/activity level using data collected from a wide range of sources. Our results have shown an extensive structure change towards a more energy-intensive household consumption structure as well as an intensive structure change towards high-quality and cleaner energy such as electricity, oil, and natural gas, which reflects a changing life style and consumption mode in pursuit of a higher level of comfort, convenience and environmental protection. We have also found that China’s price reforms in the energy sector have contributed to a reduction of REC while scale factors including increased urban population and income levels have played a key role in the rapid growth of REC. We suggest that further deregulation in energy prices and regulatory as well as voluntary energy efficiency and conservation policies in the residential sector should be promoted.
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