Residential Operational Energy Use

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Journal Article
Urban Policy and Research, 2009, 27 (2), pp. 137 - 155
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Despite decades of debate in urban research about the effect of built form on household energy use, the empirical research on the topic is still far from conclusive. Many studies rely on small samples and fail to control for crucial variables such as household income. This article describes a detailed analysis of household energy use in Sydney that controls for major household demographic and income variables. The results demonstrate that appliance ownership, household size, dwelling size and dwelling type all affect energy consumption. Importantly, from a planning perspective, energy use in low-rise attached dwellings, after controlling for other factors, is estimated as 15-20 per cent lower than detached dwellings with the same number of bedrooms.
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