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Energy efficiency and energy consumption in the household sector

Indicator Specificationexpired Created 27 Jul 2010 Published 14 Sep 2010 Last modified 04 Sep 2015, 07:00 PM
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This content has been archived on 06 Nov 2013, reason: Other
Indicator codes: ENER 022

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
  • No published assessments


Justification for indicator selection

Energy efficiency and energy consumption are intrinsically linked. Increased energy efficiency can lead to significant reductions in energy consumption provided that measures are in place to discourage the occurrence of rebound effects. Reducing energy consumption in the household sector as a result of energy efficiency progress and behavioural changes can lead to significant reductions in environmental pressures such as greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions.  

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

  • Household energy consumption, covers all energy consumed in households for space heating, water heating, cooking and electricity. Figures are reported either aggregated or disaggregated according to the end use categories named and as a total figure or per dwelling or m2 of housing area. Climate fluctuates from one year to another. When the data is flagged as climate corrected, the data is normalized to reflect similar weather conditions. 
  • Consumption in useful energy per degree-day corrects for difference in heating equipment efficiency (which varies according to the fuel  uses) and climate.
  • Energy efficiency indices (ODEX) can be defined as a ratio between the actual energy consumption of the sector in year t and the sum of the implied energy consumption from each underlying sub-sector/ end use in year t (based on the unit consumption of the sub-sector with a moving reference year.
  • Household CO2-emissions covers the direct CO2 emitted by fuel combustion.



Household consumption: tons of oil equivalent (TOE)

ODEX index: #

CO2 emissions:  MtCO2

Policy context and targets

Context description

  • Energy efficiency: delivering the 20% target  - COM(2008) 772 final
    European leaders committed themselves to reduce primary energy consumption by 20% compared to projections for 2020. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way of reducing energy consumption while maintaining an equivalent level of economic activity. Improving energy efficiency also addresses the key energy challenges of climate change, energy security and competitiveness.
  • Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential [COM(2006) 545]
    This Action Plan outlines a framework of policies and measures with a view to intensify the process of realising the over 20% estimated savings potential in EU annual primary energy consumption by 2020. The Plan lists a range of cost-effective measures, proposing priority actions to be initiated immediately, and others to be initiated gradually over the Plan's six-year period. Further action will subsequently be required to reach the full potential by 2020.
  • Commission Green Paper, 22 June 2005, "Energy Efficiency - or Doing More With Less" [COM(2005) 265 final
    It outlines the need to adopt specific measures to improve energy efficiency
  • Decision No 1230/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 adopting a multiannual programme for action in the field of energy:"Intelligent Energy -- Europe" (2003-2006)
    Energy and transport play a large part in climate change since they are the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions; this is why energy policy is particularly important in the European Union's sustainable development strategy. The EU is increasingly dependent on energy imported from Non-EU Member Countries, creating economic, social, political and other risks for the Union.
    The EU therefore wishes to reduce its dependence and improve its security of supply by promoting other energy sources and cutting demand for energy. Consequently, it is putting the accent, above all, on improving energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy sources.


No targets have been specified

Related policy documents


Methodology for indicator calculation

Energy efficiency indices (ODEX) can be defined as a ratio between the actual energy consumption of the sector in year t and the sum of the implied energy consumption from each underlying sub-sector/ end use in year t (based on the unit consumption of the sub-sector with a moving reference year. The evaluation of energy savings in household is carried out at the level of three end uses (heating, water heating and cooking) and five large appliances (refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers and TVs). For each end use, the following indicators are used to measure efficiency progress: heating — unit consumption per m2 per dwelling equivalent to central heating at normal climate; water heating — unit consumption per dwelling with water heating; and cooking — unit consumption per dwelling. The average energy consumption per m2 per dwelling equivalent to central heating is used to leave out the impact of the diffusion of central heating. The effect of (heating) behaviour was estimated by assuming that technical progress cannot be reversed. Odyssee index: see

Change in households final energy consumption per person: (final energy consumption per country2007 /population per country2007) / (final energy consumption per country1990 /population per country1990) – 1

Energy consumption by end use per dwelling: final energy consumption per country / number of dwellings per country.   

Energy consumption per m2 for space heating : final energy consumption for space heating / (number of dwelling * dwelling size)

Energy consumption per dwelling or m2 at normal  climate: sum of heating consumption at normal climate and the non heating consumption/ number of dwellings 

Heating consumption per dwelling at normal  climate : energy consumption * HDDn/HDD with HDD: observed  Heating Degree Days in   current year and HDDn number of degree days for a normal year (long-term average degree days over last 30 years; source Eurostat); number of degree days by country population weighted

CO2 emissions space heating per m2, climate corrected: CO2 emissions from space heating per dwelling climate corrected / average  floor area of dwellings


Methodology for gap filling

  • Energy consumption by end uses:  extrapolated from 16 EU countries (11 main EU-15 countries + Poland, Czech Rep, Estonia, Hungary and Romania) representing more than 90% of the household consumption (e.g. 94% for gas, 92% for electricity). The energy consumption for all these countries is aggregated by fuel and end-uses and a share is applied to the total consumption by fuel from Eurostat. For instance, the space heating consumption of gas is calculated as the total consumption of gas as published by Eurostat for the EU-27 multiplied by the share of space heating in the gas consumption in the sample of 16 countries. The space heating consumption for the EU-27 is then calculated as the sum of the consumption for space heating for each fuel. This method guarantees the coherence between the aggregate and disaggregated energy consumption.
  • Number of dwelling: sum of the 27 countries
  • Floor area of dwelling: calculation based on data available for 19 countries


Box:  Explanation of the calculation of the energy consumption by end use: case  of gas used for space heating

• If Eurostat  gas consumption of households is X Mtoe for EU-27;
• From the sample of countries for which data are available by end use, the consumption of gas for space heating, YH, is calculated from the sum of countries;
• From the same sample of countries, the total consumption of gas, Y, is calculated from the sum of countries
• The share of space heating in gas consumption SH in the sample of countries is equal to YH/Y
• To get the consumption of gas for space heating (XH) at the EU level we assume that the share is the same as for the sample of countries XH = X* SH


Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Data specifications

EEA data references

External data references

Data sources in latest figures


Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

Not all data is available for all countries. Availability for data on years earlier than 2007, is higher.
Odyssee data is recently updated (August 2009).

The reliability of total household energy consumption and related CO2 emissions is reliable due to trustworthy statistics underlying it. Division of the energy consumption among activities (heating / cooking etc.) is less accurate, because it is based on assumptions.


Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello


European Environment Agency (EEA)


Indicator code
ENER 022
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Energy Energy


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DPSIR: State
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)

Related content

Data references used

Data used

Relevant policy documents

Filed under:
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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