Energy engenderment: An industrialized perspective assessing the importance of engaging women in residential energy consumption management

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This study assesses gender role and participation in energy utilization at the residential household level in an advanced industrial country setting. Two hundred and twenty one (221) standardized surveys of single-family residential households in San Antonio, Texas – the seventh largest city in the United States of America – are collected and used as a test case. The objective is to highlight the role of women in improving household energy efficiency. By coupling the behavioral and analytical sciences, studies such as this one provide better insight for the effective deployment of targeted energy efficiency programs that can benefit both households and municipalities while reducing impact on environmental resources. Study conclusions highlight 80% higher per capita consumption in female dominant households versus male dominant households (p=0.000) driven by approximately double the gas consumption in female-headed households (p=0.002), and 54% more electric usage (p=0.004). The higher use in female dominant homes is examined through the socio-demographic impacts of education, income, vintage of home occupied and size of home occupied. The theoretical framework and test case presented in this study promote the need for market segmented energy efficiency initiatives that better engage women in energy demand-side management in industrialized populated cities.

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