Material World: Forecasting Household Appliance Ownership in a Growing Global Economy
Over the past years the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has developed an econometric model that predicts appliance ownership at the household level based on macroeconomic variables such as household income (corrected for purchase power parity), electrification, urbanization and climate variables. Hundreds of data points from around the world were collected in order to understand trends in acquisition of new appliances by households, especially in developing countries. The appliances covered by this model are refrigerators, lighting fixtures, air conditioners, washing machines and televisions. The approach followed allows the modeler to construct a bottom-up analysis based at the end use and the household level. It captures the appliance uptake and the saturation effect which will affect the energy demand growth in the residential sector. With this approach, the modeler can also account for stock changes in technology and efficiency as a function of time. This serves two important functions with regard to evaluation of the impact of energy efficiency policies. First, it provides insight into which end uses will be responsible for the largest share of demand growth, and therefore should be policy priorities. Second, it provides a characterization of the rate at which policies affecting new equipment penetrate the appliance stock. Over the past 3 years, this method has been used to support the development of energy demand forecasts at the country, region or global level.