OECD Journal: General Papers

  • Discontinued

OECD Journal: General Papers presents a collection of articles on a range of subjects, from the latest OECD research on macroeconomics and economic policies, to work in areas as varied as employment, education, environment, trade, science and technology, development and taxation.  Published as part of the OECD Journal package.


Residential Energy Demand

This paper provides a concise review of the empirical literature on residential energy demand. It also discusses the findings in the reviewed literature and their implications for the choice of policy instruments. While there is a plethora of studies on the technical possibilities, i.e. the potential energy savings that new technologies allow, it is plain that energy consumption also depends on our attitudes, preferences and income as well as relative prices1. Therefore, this review is based on the idea that energy demand is essentially driven by human behaviour and our main task is then to explore a range of empirical evidence that sheds useful light on our limited objective. Indeed, the literature on energy demand is impressively rich; already in the early years of the 1980s there were more than 2 500 papers available on this topic (Joerges, 1988 cited in Weber, undated). This brief review will focus mainly on the economics domain, a limitation to be true, although pointers will be given to findings in related fields.


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