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An investigation of energy saving behaviour for residential buildings in Nigeria

Tilde, Aisha

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Aisha Tilde


Nirodha Fernando

Zeeshan Aziz


Threats of climate change, global warming and uncertainty about future energy prices have sparked a global discussion about energy efficiency, particularly energy saving behaviour in residential buildings. Numerous challenges have been faced in achieving energy savings, with specific concern on energy consumption behaviour of building occupants. Accordingly, governments have set targets through policies for the reduction of energy emission, these have been adopted by the building industry through policies on energy efficiency in buildings including public private partnership in energy management and the development of near zero energy buildings.
Previous studies have shown that occupant behaviour can result in a significant amount of variance in building energy use. To address these challenges in line with objectives of sustainable development goal (clean and sustainable energy and climate action), as well as energy efficiency in residential buildings, this research investigated key factors as well as practices that determine and limit energy saving behaviour in residential buildings from a different cultural perspective. Nigeria has been constantly confronted with an electricity demand that exceeded supply capacity. The increased demand for electricity can be attributed to growing populations, increased commercial activity and industrialisation. Households are a significant contributor to the rapidly increasing electricity demand as identified. Energy providers resort to ‘load shedding’ of electricity supply between communities and industries and even long-term electrical outage due to limited supply. It is also important to understand how the actions of occupants affect energy consumption behaviour in residential buildings. To reduce electricity demand and save energy, this research exploited literature on energy saving behaviour and behaviour change.
The research study was conducted based on a sequential exploratory mixed method and consists of two key phases. Firstly, qualitative data was collected using semi-structure interview with eighteen experts in the energy and construction industry in Nigeria. The purpose of which was to provide an insight into residential energy consumption behaviour and the barriers faced in the adoption of sustainable energy sources. Analysis from the result shows that cost of energy is a major driver to the adoption of energy saving practices as there are no compulsory regulatory agencies to enforce and facilitate the migration to a more sustainable and innovative society. Furthermore, results also show that there is a need for continuous awareness on energy saving behavioural change, a need for government subsidies on renewable energy, government checks and standardization of energy efficient appliances imported into the country could improve the trust towards sustainable choices and promote efficient energy use.
The second phase involved a household survey with 317 households from the case study area. The survey instrument was developed based on the constructs of energy culture framework, sociodemographic factors and physical environment. The hypothesised relationship from the conceptual model were tested using structural equation modelling (SEM). The results indicated that energy practices, material culture, attitude perception cognitive and social norms with behaviour changes were statistically significant, with attitude perception cognitive and social norms having the least impact on behaviour change. Additionally, the correlations from the constructs shows a direct relationship with behaviour change in achieving energy efficiency and energy saving approach while a deliberate policy to achieve energy efficiency and energy saving practices is vital to achieve sustainable development goals. The outcome from this work provided a better understanding of drivers and barriers to energy use behaviour and will inform future energy policy and interventions related to household energy saving. It also will contribute to the existing body of knowledge as well as give policy direction of governments towards climate action and some specific objectives of sustainable development goals.


Tilde, A. (2023). An investigation of energy saving behaviour for residential buildings in Nigeria. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Publication Date Jun 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2023


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