This paper is about the determinants of the household energy consumption in the social housing sector in the Netherlands. Research has shown that there is a large variation in the energy use of households of similar dwellings due to the behaviour of the occupants. So the human factor will always play a role in energy saving. The study examined the relationships between: dwelling characteristics, characteristics of households, household energy behaviour and consumption of energy by households. Social, financial, energy and technical data from about 1600 households have been collected in the social housing sector. The results showed that dwelling characteristics still seem to be more important than household characteristics or behaviour. In addition, this paper reveals that selected household energy behaviour variables are able to explain 6% of variation in energy consumption. Influencing behaviour in policies to decrease energy consumption is an opportunity, but will probably be less effective than actions aimed at technical measures and household technical advice to save energy.