Household energy consumption (HEC) significantly impacts global greenhouse gas emissions and can trigger fuel and energy poverty among vulnerable households. Due to environmental policies and geopolitical turmoil limiting the energy supply, HEC needs to be curbed. This urges the identification of most energy-dependent consumers at different locations and the particular life circumstances that trigger such a high level of dependency. A gender perspective can provide insights into the life circumstances of households. Applying a geographically weighted regression model on HEC, including explanatory parameters on gender composition, age, ethnicity, income, home ownership, microclimate, urban morphology and land cover, the results show significant variations in HEC of gender groups in 87% of Dutch residential zones. Women with an immigration background (20%), children younger than 14 years old -presumably single mothers (14%), old buildings in hot climates (10%), or high income (9%) are the most energy-dependent gender groups in a significant portion of residential zones. So are the men in large-size households (18%) and older-than-65-years men in rural areas (8%). The study offers discussions on the results and a series of policy recommendations.

Gendered geography of energy consumption in the Netherlands

Bardia Mashhoodi, Thijs Bouman
Applied Geography
May 2023,

Bardia Mashhoodi and Thijs Bouman