Financial crisis and energy consumption: A household survey in Greece
This research aims to investigate, analyze and characterize the relation between the economic crisis and energy consumption in Greece. A survey held in the spring and summer of 2012 collected data of the heating energy consumption for 2010–2011 and 2011–2012, from 598 households via a questionnaire. Comparing the 2010–11 winter to the harsher winter of 2011–12 showed that inhabitants consumed less energy during the winter of 2011–12 because of the rapid economic degradation. Important conclusions were drawn regarding the energy consumption of the households which during the harsh winter 2011–12 was 37% less than expected. Cluster analysis rendered two distinct clusters: three fourths of the households belonged to the lower income group that lived in a smaller space, had half the income and consumed more specific energy compared to the high income group, although much less than expected based on the degree hours of the second winter. One out of three higher-income and one out of four lower-income households adopted some conservation measures after the first winter while 2% of the higher income households and 14% of the lower-income households were below the fuel poverty threshold. Directions for further research include monitoring of low income households with sensors.