Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse the complex interrelationships among thedifferent variables purporting to explain household energy consumption and carbon emissions. Energy consumption and carbon emissions in dwellings have been argued to be a complex socio-technical problem that involves interaction of many variables that are interdependent on one another. Design/methodology/approach – The paper investigates the explanatory power of these variables through the use of structural equation modelling which has the advantage of handling complex real-life problems that cannot be modelled by other multivariate analysis methods. This study uses the publicly available datasets of the Scottish House Condition Survey and the Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours datasets. Findings – This paper found that floor area, energy efficiency in terms of standard assessment procedure value, number of occupants in the dwelling, household income, dwelling age, consumption behaviour and age of householders are among the variables explaining dwellings energy consumption and carbon emissions. The explanatory power of each of these variables was therefore explored. Originality/value – The paper concludes that understanding the complex–causal relationships among the explanatory variables would help decision-makers draw more realistic policies for household energy consumption which is critical to the agenda pertaining to carbon emission.
- energy consumption
- socio-technical systems
- structural equation modelling