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Open AccessArticle

Households’ Energy Consumption Change in China: A Multi-Regional Perspective

The Johns Hopkins University—Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, 33 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2486;
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
PDF [1882 KB, uploaded 17 July 2018]


As China’s economy enters the “new normal” phase, its growth model has gradually changed to focus more on domestic consumption. In this paper, we examine regional disparities in households’ total (direct and indirect) energy use in China from 2002 to 2012. Using a structural decomposition approach, we examine how changes in China’s technology, economic structure, urbanization, lifestyle, and interregional trade affect household energy use across different regions. We find that rising income levels contributed most to energy usage. Improved energy efficiency offset the rising effects of heightened household consumption in most regions. Rural-to-urban migration played an important role in enhancing energy use in all regions from 2002 to 2012. Moreover, households started to rely more heavily on interregional trade of final goods and services to meet their consumption demands. Based on this multi-regional and multi-angle study, we provide some regional-specific policies that would help curb household energy demand and promote sustainable consumption in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: household energy use; urbanization; lifestyle change; structural decomposition analysis; China household energy use; urbanization; lifestyle change; structural decomposition analysis; China

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Zhang, H.; Lahr, M.L. Households’ Energy Consumption Change in China: A Multi-Regional Perspective. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2486.

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