Increasing the detail of analysis to better understand the determinants of residential energy and water consumption

Urbanisation results in the concentration of resource consumption and related environmental pressures into relatively small areas. Can our urbanised cities be made more sustainable? The combination of unique individuals living in mostly unique dwellings provides challenge to understand common factors affecting resource consumption in our cities. Only by using measured data, cleaning and preparing the data and modelling it with sufficiently complex model can effective policies be developed to reduce this consumption. Rigorous analysis of real data has not previously undertaken.

This work draws on seven years of metered electricity, gas and water consumption data for 60,000 residential dwellings in Canberra as the basis for analysis. This data was combined with a range of public and private data sets to improve analysis. The technical challenges of this work includes accessing data from publically available sources, data cleaning and error propagation, defining suitable metrics such as population density and comparing bi-variate, multi-variation and non-parametric modelling methods to understand the determinates of consumption.

About the Speaker

Mishka Talent is a PhD candidate at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. He is an engineer and geographer by training and focuses his studies on urban resource consumption.