Energy use and saving in residential sector and occupant behavior: A case study in Athens

Chrysa Vogiatzi, Georgia Gemenetzi, Lina Massou, Stavros Poulopoulos, Spiros Papaefthimiou, Efthimios Zervas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In Greece, energy use in the residential sector corresponds to 24.4% of the total energy use in 2014, showing an increase of 13.8% in the period 1995–2014. Although the technical characteristics of a building have a significant impact on residential energy use, the behavior of the occupant is also crucial. Our aim is to investigate the interrelationships between the energy use behavior of occupants and their socio-demographic characteristics. The data used for this study were collected through a structured questionnaire. The survey was conducted during the spring of 2016 in the city of Athens. 451 people responded. The questionnaire comprised three parts: (a) building characteristics, (b) occupants' behavior, and (c) socio-demographic profile of occupants. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the behavioral patterns (components) of occupants. Six energy behavioral patterns are identified: (a) environmentally aware, (b) environmentally friendly, (c) adopting energy saving practices, (d) having economic motivation behind energy saving practices, (e) environmentally uninvolved, and (f) environmentally unaware. These types are correlated with the socio-demographic profile of occupants highlighting the importance of gender, age, educational level, number of members per household and income in energy use and saving. In conclusion, energy behavior is quite complex and it is strongly associated with the socio-demographic characteristics. Within this context, policies regarding the improvement of energy use in residential sector should be tailored to specific needs of the target population groups. The three main axes are the increase of education level, the increase of environmental awareness of young people and the provision of financial incentives for the retrofit of energy saving devices for the citizens with lower income.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2018


  • Athens
  • Energy behavioral types
  • Energy saving
  • Energy use
  • Principal component analysis
  • Residential sector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Energy use and saving in residential sector and occupant behavior: A case study in Athens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this