Adaptive responses: The effects of temperature levels on residential electricity use in China

Meixuan Teng, Hua Liao, Paul Burke, Tianqi Chen, Chen Zhang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Rising temperatures are likely to boost residential demand for electricity in warm locations for reasons including increased use of air conditioners, fans, and refrigeration. Yet precise efects may vary by geographical area and with socio-economic conditions. Knowledge on these efects in developing countries is limited due to data availability and reliability issues. Using a high-quality provincial-level monthly dataset for China and fxedefect panel methods, we fnd a U-shaped and asymmetrical relationship between ambient temperature and monthly residential electricity use. An additional day with a maximum temperature exceeding 34 °C is on average associated with a 1.6% increase in that month’s per capita residential electricity use relative to if that day’s maximum temperature had been in the 22–26 °C range. The efect of an additional cold day is smaller. There are diferences in efects for the south versus the north of China and for urban versus rural areas. Under a high global carbon dioxide emission trajectory, we estimate that expected temperature increases would lead to more than a 25% increase in residential electricity use in July in some provinces by the end of the century, holding other factors constant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    JournalClimatic Change
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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