An investigation on energy-related occupancy behavior for low-income residential buildings

Bing Dong, Zhaoxuan Li, Gaelen McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Previous studies show that individuals’ energy consumption tends to outweigh the technical efficiency gains. Occupancy behavior accounts for about 30% of the variance in overall heating consumption and 50% in cooling consumption. In addition, overall energy savings of 10%–20% due to simple behavioral adjustments are a reasonable expectation. Unfortunately, few studies have focused on the specific cases of behavior in low-income houses, where unique individual energy behavior, demographic, and socio-economic factors come into play. This article investigates energy-related occupancy behavior in low-income families through real-time power, indoor environment, and occupancy presence measurement. Four residential houses with different building envelope materials are used as test-beds. Occupancy behavior includes thermostat schedules, occupancy presence, and major appliance usages. A simulation study is further conducted to show the energy impact of occupancy behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-901
Number of pages10
JournalScience and Technology for the Built Environment
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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