• Focus Area -
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 1 September 2016


This paper aims at understanding the drivers of residential electricity demand in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries by applying the structural time series model. In addition to the economic variables of GDP and real electricity prices, the model accounts for population, weather, and a stochastic underlying energy demand trend as a proxy for efficiency and human behaviour. The resulting income and price elasticities are informative for policy makers given the paucity of previous estimates for a region with particular political structures and economies subject to large shocks. In particular, the estimates allow for a sound assessment of the impact of energy-related policies suggesting that if policy makers in the region wish to curtail future residential electricity consumption they would need to improve the efficiency of appliances and increase energy using awareness of consumers, possibly by education and marketing campaigns. Moreover, even if prices were raised the impact on curbing residential electricity growth in the region is likely to be very small given the low estimated price elasticities—unless, that is, prices were raised so high that expenditure on electricity becomes such a large proportion of income that the price elasticities increase (in absolute terms). © 2016 King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC)


Energy Economics


Tarek Atalla

Tarek Atalla

Former Research Associate

Lester C. Hunt

Visiting Researcher Lester C. Hunt is a part-time Professor of Economics at the University of Portsmouth and a KAPSARC Visiting Researcher. Lester…

Lester C. Hunt is a part-time Professor of Economics at the University of Portsmouth and a KAPSARC Visiting Researcher.

Lester previously worked at the Universities of Essex (1979-1980), Swansea (1980-1985 and 1987-1989), Surrey (1989-1991 and 1999-2017), and Portsmouth (1994-1998, and 2017 onwards). At Surrey he was Head of Economics (1999-2003) and Director of SEEC (2003-2015). At Portsmouth he was Head of Economics (1996 -1998) and Head of Economics and Finance (2017-2021).

In addition to working in higher education, Lester was an Economic Adviser in the forecasting division of HM Treasury (1985-1987), an Energy Analyst/Economist at Midlands Electricity (1991-1994) and a Senior Research Fellow at KAPSARC (2015-2017).

Lester holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Economics with Econometrics from Loughborough University, an MA in Economics from the University of Essex, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Surrey. He has been an Editor of The Energy Journal since 2006.


  • Energy Economics and Policy

Publications See all Lester C. Hunt’s publications

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