Estimating country-specific space heating threshold temperatures from national gas and electricity consumption data

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Space heating in buildings is becoming a key element of sector-coupled energy system research. Data availability limits efforts to model the buildings sector, because heat consumption is not directly metered in most countries. Space heating is often related to weather through the proxy of heating degree-days using a specific heating threshold temperature, but methods vary between studies. This study estimates country-specific heating threshold temperatures using widely and publicly available consumption and weather data. This allows for national climate and culture-specific human behaviour to be captured in energy systems modelling. National electricity and gas consumption data are related to degree-days through linear models, and Akaike's Information Criteria is used to define the summer season in each country, when space heating is not required. We find that the heating threshold temperatures computed using daily, weekly and monthly aggregated consumption data are statistically indifferent. In general, threshold temperatures for gas heating centre around 15.0 ± 1.7 C (daily averaged temperature), while heating by electricity averages to 13.4 ± 2.4 C. We find no evidence of space heating during June, July and August, even if heating degree-days are present.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Pages (from-to)368-380
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Buildings, Electricity consumption data, Gas consumption data, Heating degree-days, Space heating threshold temperatures, Summer seasons

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