Water and related electrical energy use in urban households—Influence of individual attributes in Beijing, China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Water and energy are intricately connected in households. The connections mainly appear in three types of residential behavior: bathing, cooking, and cleaning. This study investigated the features of water and related energy consumption in groups with different individual attributes and identified the key groups and types of behavior that correlate with water and energy conservation. A face-to-face interview method was applied to estimate residential water and energy consumption associated with three types of behavior. Regression analysis was applied to the results of 1017 questionnaires to explore the relationships between individual attributes and the amount of water used and associated energy consumption. Chi-square test and extended Mantel-Haenszel test were applied to confirm the relations between individual attributes and behavior. Annual per capita water use for the three types of behavior was 33.6 m3 on average and annual per capita water related electricity consumption was estimated to be 545.7 kWh. The Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.8 with a confidence level of 99%, which indicated a strong correlation between water use and energy consumption. The results showed that 55% of household electricity consumption was coupled with water use in Beijing. Water use and related electricity consumption had a positive correlation with education but a negative correlation with age and family size. Young women under 30 years old with a bachelor degree or above who live alone often use the most water and electricity, 16% and 28% higher than the average. This paper provides a better understanding of urban household consumption and individual attributes.


External organisations
  • Tsinghua University
  • China Academy of Urban Planning and Design
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology


  • Consumer behavior, Demand side, Household survey, Urban energy consumption, Urban water consumption
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1
Publication categoryResearch