Reshaping energy policy based on social and human dimensions: an analysis of human-building interactions among societies in transition in GCC countries

Ali Ghofrani, Esmat Zaidan, Mohsen Jafari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Without major structural changes, social sciences can potentially bolster economic diversification and strategic planning efforts in developing countries. This article presents an analysis of a set of human-oriented dimensions to enhance energy policies associated with the building sector in developing countries with similarities to the Gulf Cooperation Council union (GCC). A clear understanding of human dimensions in the GCC union’s energy policy is crucial due to social complexities and large numbers of expatriate communities and migrant workers with unknown cultural, behavioral, and financial diversities with respect to local communities. This study evaluates the correlations of demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral dimensions with human–building interactions to identify the main contributors that create discrepancies in human habits, well-being, motivations, responsibilities, and energy use based on a sample of 2200 respondents in Qatar. Moreover, this study is extended to explore human indoor comfort perception dependencies with building features. Behavioral associations with financial drivers, including energy subsidies and demand response programs, are investigated. The patterns in the data are analyzed and attributed to applications in energy policy concerning awareness, social well-being, and interventions. The sample is clustered into various consumer classes, and a feature importance analysis is conducted via machine learning methods to find the key contributors to consumer behavior. The outcomes show profound insight into how human factors influence consumption, consequence awareness, self-responsibility, habits, norms, and comfort perception in residential and work environments. The findings of this study can assist decision-makers in creating targeted strategies to enhance the efficacy of energy policies and improve sustainability performance indicators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number246
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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