A survey on energy consumption and energy usage behavior of households and residential building in urban China

Shan Hu, Da Yan, Siyue Guo, Ying Cui, Bing Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Building performance, equipment efficiency, and occupant behavior play important roles in China urban residential building energy conservation. An online survey was conducted in 2015 to study the urban residential energy and usage behavior. A total of 4964 Chinese urban households participated in the survey, answering questions about their family composition, buildings, energy use and conservation behaviors, and reactions to specific energy conservation policies. The results suggest that the general trend in Chinese urban households is larger unit sizes (on average, 109 m2 per household) and smaller families. The average electricity consumption of urban residential buildings is 1690 kWh per year per household in 2015 and it continues to grow as home electronics become more widespread and the demand for higher quality of life increases. China urban residential buildings energy use has the following characteristics: steady growth in size and energy consumption of the buildings associated with rapid urbanization, decentralized and individual equipment with diversified energy usage behavior, and relatively low energy consumption level compared to other countries. In addition to the current energy efficiency programs, China should focus on energy consumption and intensities target of building sector, and the key for urban residential building energy efficiency is to retain traditional behaviors and lifestyles, as well as promoting outcome-based energy conservation policies and technology systems to improve indoor environment and comfort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-378
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • China urbanization
  • Energy use behavior
  • Household energy consumption
  • International comparison
  • Questionnaire survey
  • Residential building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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