A system dynamics-based model of the socio-technical systems of household energy and carbon emissions

Michael G. Oladokun, Ibrahim A. Motawa, Phillip F. G. Banfill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


There have been concerns over sustainability issues around the world, especially when it comes to the way energy is used and corresponding environmental impacts in the form of climate change, global warming, etc. Reduction in household energy consumption is seen as a way to curtail this menace. This paper argues that the issue of household energy consumption and CO2 emissions (HECCE) is a complex technical and social phenomenon that needs to be understood from both engineering and social science perspectives. This research used the concept of socio-technical systems as the theoretical framework. The research applied system dynamics as both the methodology and tool to model HECCE. The result is a population of outcomes for the HECCE in the form of space heating, hot water, artificial lighting, appliances, and cooking. The tool produced is an intuitive one with the capability of replicating reality as evidenced from the outcomes of validation done. Sensitivity analysis ofdifferent policy levers (occupants? behaviour, insulation level, etc) can therefore be done with the tool. It is concluded that the outcomes of this study would go a long way in helping decision makers draw more realistic policies for household energy consumption which is critical to the CO2 emissions reduction agenda of the government.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 31st International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, 21-25 July, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, ISBN 978-1-935056-11-9
EditorsRobert Eberlein, Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano
PublisherThe System Dynamics Society
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781935056119
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 Jul 2013


  • household energy
  • household carbon emissions
  • socio-technical systems
  • system dynamics


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