Estimating Residential Energy Consumption in Metropolitan Areas: A Microsimulation Approach

Wenwen Zhang, Caleb Robinson, Subhrajit Guhathakurta, Venu M. Garikapati, Bistra Dilkina, Marilyn A. Brown, Ram M. Pendyala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus Citations


Prior research has shown that land use patterns and the spatial configurations of cities have a significant impact on residential energy demand. Given the pressing issues surrounding energy security and climate change, there is renewed interest in developing and retrofitting cities to make them more energy efficient. Yet deriving micro-scale residential energy footprints of metropolitan areas is challenging because high resolution data from energy providers is generally unavailable. In this study, a bottom-up model is proposed to estimate residential energy demand using datasets that are commonly available in the United States. The model applies novel machine learning methods to match records in the Residential Energy Consumption Survey with Public Use Microdata samples. This matching and machine learning produce a synthetic household energy distribution at a neighborhood scale. The model was tested and validated with data from the Atlanta metropolitan region to demonstrate its application and promise.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-72673


  • Data synthesis
  • Machine learning
  • Residential energy consumption
  • Statistical matching


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