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Resources 2015, 4(4), 871-902; doi:10.3390/resources4040871

A Comparative Analysis of Energy Usage and Energy Efficiency Behavior in Low- and High-Income Households: The Case of Kitwe, Zambia

1
Department of Architecture, School of the Built Environment, Copperbelt University, PO Box 21962, Kitwe 10101, Zambia
2
Department of Real Estate, School of the Built Environment, Copperbelt University, PO Box 21962, Kitwe 10101, Zambia
3
School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
4
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of the Built Environment, Copperbelt University, PO Box 21962, Kitwe 10101, Zambia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christa Liedtke and Witold-Roger Poganietz
Received: 22 May 2015 / Revised: 13 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 November 2015 / Published: 25 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [341 KB, uploaded 25 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Energy efficiency has been an important topic since the latter part of the last century. This is because adoption of energy efficiency measures has been acknowledged as one of the key methods of addressing the negative impact of climate change. In Zambia, however, the need to adopt energy efficiency measures has not just been driven by the imperative to mitigate the negative effects of climate change but also by a critical shortage of energy. This research looks at households’ energy consumption behavior in low- and high-income areas of Kitwe. Recent studies on the relationship between household energy consumption and behavioral lifestyle have been descriptive, with limited emphasis on the relationships between various variables. In this study, descriptive and inferential statistics have been used to investigate relationships between the two income groups and various energy consumption-related variables such as knowledge about energy reduction measures, energy saving strategies, barriers to the use of energy saving strategies, and the motives for using energy reduction strategies. Methodologically, the study was largely quantitative in nature, with questionnaires administered to a combined total of 56 households. However, key interviews were also conducted that helped us to get a clearer understanding of some of the issues covered in the research. Key findings are that whereas the descriptive statistics show that there are behavioral differences between the two income groups, the inferential statistics show that there is no relationship between income level and the energy efficiency variables. This has been found to be consistent with results from studies done elsewhere. The key lesson is that there is low usage of energy efficiency measures in both low- and high-income areas and that the authorities need to change the way information is disseminated to consumers from the current method of advertising to social diffusion. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy usage; energy efficiency behavior; low-income households; high-income households; Kitwe; Zambia energy usage; energy efficiency behavior; low-income households; high-income households; Kitwe; Zambia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Malama, A.; Makashini, L.; Abanda, H.; Ng'ombe, A.; Mudenda, P. A Comparative Analysis of Energy Usage and Energy Efficiency Behavior in Low- and High-Income Households: The Case of Kitwe, Zambia. Resources 2015, 4, 871-902.

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