Household Energy Expenditures in North Carolina: A Geographically Weighted Regression Approach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Selima Sultana, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: [2017-2018 UNCG University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund Grant Winner.] The U.S. household (HH) energy consumption is responsible for approximately 20% of annual global GHG emissions. Identifying the key factors influencing HH energy consumption is a major goal of policy makers to achieve energy sustainability. Although various explanatory factors have been examined, empirical evidence is inconclusive. Most studies are either aspatial in nature or neglect the spatial non-stationarity in data. Our study examines spatial variation of the key factors associated with HH energy expenditures at census tract level by utilizing geographically weighted regression (GWR) for the 14 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in North Carolina (NC). A range of explanatory variables including socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of households, local urban form, housing characteristics, and temperature are analyzed. While GWR model for HH transportation expenditures has a better performance compared to the utility model, the results indicate that the GWR model for both utility and transportation has a slightly better prediction power compared to the traditional ordinary least square (OLS) model. HH median income, median age of householders, urban compactness, and distance from the primary city center explain spatial variability of HH transportation expenditures in the study area. HH median income, median age of householders, and percent of one-unit detached housing are identified as the main influencing factors on HH utility expenditures in the GWR model. This analysis also provides the spatial variability of the relationship between HH energy expenditures and the associated factors suggesting the need for location-specific evaluation and suitable guidelines to reduce the energy consumption.

Additional Information

Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1511
Language: English
Date: 2018
energy consumption, household, urban form, geographically weighted regression, NC

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