Understanding and quantifying the drivers of energy consumption in buildings is an essential step to identify inefficiencies and guide energy conservation efforts and policies. While such efforts are common in western countries, they remain limited in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, particularly in the State of Kuwait. This article presents the first systematic assessment of the drivers of energy consumption in Kuwaiti commercial and residential buildings. It presents a unique hybrid study approach combining data collected from 463 buildings with Building Performance Simulation (BPS) developed and validated to mimic the performance of archetype (i.e., typical) Kuwaiti buildings. Results identify the built-up area and the thermostat cooling setpoints as the main determinants of electric consumption, quantifying the exact relationships between these variables. For instance, a simple 2 °C increase in the thermostat cooling setpoint can lead to a more than 10% reduction in total energy use. Other parameters that are typically known to affect building performance, such as the type of Air Conditioning (AC) systems installed, did not show statistically significant effects. The findings helped derive important recommendations for the Kuwaiti authorities, covering the educational, technological, and policy-related dimensions of the challenges facing the building sector.
- Building performance simulation
- Energy consumption drivers
- Energy policy
- Statistical modeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Energy
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law