Research Project featured on the Weekly Spotlight
Energy efficiency is one of the pillars of the ’Energy Strategy 2050’ and therefore an important issue next to new renewables. However, how efficient are we already now? — Every week, the "Weekly Spotlight on Energy Research" highlights current research projects of Energy Science Center (ESC) members.
Within the project “Underlying energy efficiency and technological change in the Swiss household sector”, we try to answer the following questions: What is the level of efficiency in the use of energy in Swiss households and therefore how large is the potential for savings? And do energy and investment literacy influence the level of efficiency?
The level of energy efficiency of Swiss households can be measured with a bottom-up approach, by making an on-site efficiency analysis of buildings. However, with such an economic-engineering approach, the behavioural aspects in energy use are not accounted for. Therefore, we estimate a household’s level of energy demand and energy efficiency with mathematical and statistical methods, accounting for factors such as characteristics of the residence, number and type of appliances, as well as socio-economic and demographic variables. With this approach a ’fair’ benchmarking of Swiss households with respect to their energy consumption can be performed.
In order to apply this approach, we carried out a household survey in cooperation with nine Swiss utilities supplying major urban areas in different parts of Switzerland. The survey delivers data on more than 8’000 Swiss households. Next to the residence and household characteristics we also measure the knowledge on energy topics of the survey respondents. Do the respondents for example know how much they spend on electricity when using a washing machine at 60°C? With this and similar other questions we want to estimate whether energy and investment literacy influence the level of efficiency in the use of electricity. We recently finished the data collection and cleaning and will expect the first results in the next couple of months.