An overview of domestic energy models and a new approach with agent based modelling
Lee, T. and Yao, R. (2010) An overview of domestic energy models and a new approach with agent based modelling. In: International Conference on Applied Energy, 16-18 May 2010, Singapore.
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Government targets for CO2 reductions are being progressively tightened, the Climate Change Act set the UK target as an 80% reduction by 2050 on 1990 figures. The residential sector accounts for about 30% of emissions. This paper discusses current modelling techniques in the residential sector: principally top-down and bottom-up. Top-down models work on a macro-economic basis and can be used to consider large scale economic changes; bottom-up models are detail rich to model technological changes. Bottom-up models demonstrate what is technically possible. However, there are differences between the technical potential and what is likely given the limited economic rationality of the typical householder. This paper recommends research to better understand individuals’ behaviour. Such research needs to include actual choices, stated preferences and opinion research to allow a detailed understanding of the individual end user. This increased understanding can then be used in an agent based model (ABM). In an ABM, agents are used to model real world actors and can be given a rule set intended to emulate the actions and behaviours of real people. This can help in understanding how new technologies diffuse. In this way a degree of micro-economic realism can be added to domestic carbon modelling. Such a model should then be of use for both forward projections of CO2 and to analyse the cost effectiveness of various policy measures.