Analysis of residential energy consumption characteristics: A comparative study between two cities in China and the U.S
This study compares and analyzes residential energy use patterns in the two dominant housing typologies in two cities with similar climates in the U.S. and China (Houston, TX and Xiamen, China). The study included developing four residential models representing a single-family-house and a multi-family-house in both Houston and Xiamen using the building performance simulation tool, eQuest. Inputs for the models were based on existing building codes, census data, government surveys, validated previous studies, and a household survey conducted in Xiamen, China. The models were used to study the impact of building physical characteristics and occupant behavior on residential energy consumption patterns in both cities. The results of the simulation were then analyzed and the outcomes of the analysis were used to identify opportunities for reducing Chinese residential energy use. The research outcomes indicate that the low energy efficiency of building envelopes and systems in Chinese houses are a major issue in Chinese residential buildings. Avoiding the potential increase in energy use in the Chinese residential sector requires taking steps to improve the efficiency of building envelopes, systems, and appliances. The research provides specific recommendations for Chinese energy conservation policy-makers as well as developers and companies working in the Chinese residential sector. The research also provides the foundation for future studies aiming to improve the energy efficiency of Chinese houses.