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New publication: ‘Heterogeneity in Residential Space Heating Expenditures in Germany’

CLUSTER M&V Posted on 15.2.2016


VI-Research Fellows Hendrik Schmitz and Reinhard Madlener published a new policy paper on the Social Science Research Network „Heterogeneity in Residential Space Heating Expenditures in Germany“.

Abstract: “Since a large share of residential energy use is spent on space heating, it is highly relevant to understand the factors that determine its demand. Using an extensive panel dataset derived from repeated in-home surveys, we model the demand for energy in residential space heating, with a focus on social household characteristics. Our dataset, which covers the years 1992 to 2013, also allows us to explore possible heterogeneity between household groups. As a main result, we report a price elasticity of heating expenditures of 0.658. We find both technical characteristics such as building type and age as well as socio-demographic factors like age and gender to be significant determinants in explaining heating expenditures. Furthermore, we uncover significant heterogeneity in price responsiveness between different groups. For example, low-income households exhibit stronger price reactions than richer ones. Our findings have profound implications for evaluating the effectiveness of policy measures that aim at influencing energy use. Our results prove to be robust to a variety of checks.”