This study conducted an empirical investigation of the factors that influence residential demand for electricity. The roles of weather and household income were examined. We estimated an econometric model using a data set of households from 65 cities in five Chinese provinces annually from 1992 to 2009. As daily mean temperature increased from 9°C to 12°C, demand for electricity went up. One more day with temperatures higher than 30°C would cause household electricity consumption to increase by 0.54% in a year. This translates to about 7 kWh of electricity for a representative household over the period from 1993 to 2009. Our results also indicated that income elasticity of electricity consumption was 0.26, price elasticity was–0.37, and household floor area elasticity was 0.17. Our simulation analysis revealed that climate change would significantly increase residential consumption of electricity in Chinese cities. In the sampled cities, the mean increase would be 10% in the low-emission scenario and 20% under the high-emission scenario by the end of the century. The results also indicated regional heterogeneity of the impacts of climate change. The highest increase in electricity consumption would happen in the southern provinces, with the lowest increases in the western and northern provinces.
Residential Electricity Consumption in China: The Roles of Weather and Household Income
by Wang Chunhua