Impacts of Socio-Economic Factors and Elements of Urban Form on Domestic Electricity Consumption: A Case Study of Islamabad

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Rummana Sherwani
Dr. Abdul Waheed
Dr. Saima Gulzar
Dr. Mansoor Ahmad Baluch
Syed Imran Ali

Abstract

The global energy scarcity and exceptional increase in energy consumption pushed energy optimization in the ambit of inevitable tasks. Meanwhile, the ambience of urban life is reliant on energy availability. Energy crisis of the 1970s gave rise to the energy conservation principles but the idea of regulating domestic electricity demand through socio economic and urban form elements gained popularity in the early 2000s. Pakistan has 39% urban population while urbanization rate in Pakistan is 2.81% which means cities are expanding faster and will claim more energy in future. The country is facing an electricity shortage hence beside production, optimum regulation of electricity demand is imperative. This research investigates the effect of socio-economic features and urban form elements on domestic electricity demand in the context of Islamabad, Pakistan. Four residential areas of Islamabad are selected as the case study. Income level, household size, house ownership are taken as socio economic characteristics. Street pattern, land cover, house size, no of storey, basement, tree plantation, open to sky area are taken as elements of urban form. Electricity billing data is collected from the electric supply company, IESCO and a questionnaire survey is conducted in four residential areas of case study. Satellite imagery is obtained through Google earth and plans are downloaded from the official website of CDA. A total of 200 households are surveyed. The data is coded and analyzed in SPSS, therefore, multivariate analysis techniques including correlation and regression analysis are employed. Moreover, electricity consumption is largely dependent on the micro elements of urban form including open to sky area, tree plantation, basement and house size.  The paper intends to highlight major trends of electricity consumption. The key findings of this study show that two of the socio-economic features including income and household size significantly affect electricity consumption. This research concludes that significant reduction in electricity demand is possible through socio economic and urban form changes. It is recommended to ensure basement provision in the buildings, maximize open area, promote tree plantation, incorporate natural ventilation and minimize household size for reduction in electricity consumption.
 

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Section
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING