University of Twente team within the WP5 of the COMPLEX project has designed and implemented an agent-based model to study the Behavioural change in ENergy Consumption of Households in transition to low-carbon economy (BENCH). Design and development of the BENCH model is the core of the PhD trajectory of Leila Niamir and it is an ongoing research.

We designed and programmed agent-based model with the aim to investigate nonlinearities in energy markets. This models aims to trace potential discontinuities in energy markets driven endogenously from within the BENCH or triggered by changes in the environment. The quantities and prices of different energy sources namely low-carbon-energy and fossil fuel and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the microeconomic choices are indicators of an aggregated BENCH energy market dynamics (Niamir and Filatova, 2015a). 

The demand side in BENCH is represented by heterogeneous households with different preferences, awareness of climate change, and socio-economic characteristics. Consumers’ microeconomic choices could include switching between traditional to low-carbon energies or behavioural changes such as energy saving. These changes in individual households’ energy consumption could potentially lead to non-marginal changes in a regional energy demand as a collective response of interacting individuals to certain energy policies. Meanwhile, the supply side is presented by heterogeneous energy producers. The microeconomic dynamics on the supply side could include the diffusion of alternative energy technologies. The dynamics of energy markets could be measured in terms of energy production, energy consumption, energy prices, GDP, resulting  CO2 emission, and market shares of energy sources (i.e. low-carbon energy sources vs. fossil fuels) (Niamir and Filatova, 2015b).

BENCH uses some macro level data but majority of the rules specifications will be based on the micro level data coming from a survey. The macro level data that is used in BENCH is available from the EU statistical databases, i.e. data on energy use and incomes. We also use data from several regional/governmental reports and databases.

BENCH will be used to test different scenarios, which potentially could include: (i) various behavioural assumptions and information structure on micro level, (ii) various regions (case-studies), (iii) various CEE related policies, and (iv) various integration options with other models in the COMPLEX project.


Niamir, L. and Filatova, T. (2015a). Linking Agent-based energy market with Computable General Equilibrium Model: an Integrated Approach to Climate-Economy-Energy System. In 20th WEHIA Conference, Sophia Antipolis, France, 21-23 May. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3242.0961

Niamir, L. and Filatova, T. (2015b). Transition to Low-carbon Economy: Simulating Nonlinearities in the Electricity Market, Navarre Region-Spain. In proceeding of 11th Social Simulation Conference (SSC2015), Groningen, The Netherlands, 14-18 September.


If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Leila Niamir <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Tatiana Filatova <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>