Household Energy Choices and Fuelwood Consumption: An Econometric Approach to the French Data
In an international context of soaring oil prices and growing awareness of the need to combat global warming, wood would appear to be becoming increasingly competitive and desirable for our environment. France is the leading consumer of fuelwood in the EU, mainly for home consumption and for heating, although the share of wood in primary energy consumption is still very low (4%). It is therefore important to understand how domestic consumer fuelwood demand is determined. We propose an econometric analysis of fuelwood consumption by modeling the choice made by consumers of the type of use of wood for heating, and the possible combination between one energy used as a main source of heating and another used as a back-up. Our estimations show that this choice is mainly determined by income. Wood is chosen as the main energy source by the poorest households. Consumption is price sensitive in the case of main use of wood (price elasticity of -0.4), but price elasticity is lower in the case of back-up use, and varies according to the type of energy used as the main source (electricity, gas, fuel oil).
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