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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Energy efficiency and energy consumption in the household sector / Energy efficiency and energy consumption in the household sector (ENER 022) - Assessment published Aug 2011

Energy efficiency and energy consumption in the household sector (ENER 022) - Assessment published Aug 2011

This content has been archived on 06 Nov 2013, reason: Other
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Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
energy consumption | odex | consumption | energy | households | heat | co2 | emissions
DPSIR: State
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 022
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2008
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is energy efficiency improving in the household sector?

Key messages

Over the period 1990-2008, energy efficiency in the household sector increased by 19% in EU-27 countries, or 1.1%/year, driven by the diffusion of more efficient buildings, space heating technologies and electrical appliances.  Over the same period, the final energy consumption of households increased by about 13%, at an annual average rate of 0.7%. Electricity consumption grew much faster at an annual growth rate of 1.9%. Per capita household energy consumption in EU-27 and EEA countries only slightly increased over the period (0.4%/year). Since the year 2005 however, energy consumption per capita in the household sector decreased in almost all countries. The energy consumption of households is influenced mainly by two opposite drivers. Efficiency improvements in space heating and large electrical appliances reduces the consumption while increasing size of dwellings and increased use of electrical appliances and central heating contribute to increase the consumption and offset part of the energy efficiency benefits. CO2 emissions per dwelling were 24% below their 1990 level in 2008, mainly because of CO2 savings resulting from switches to fuel with a lower CO2 content.

Odyssee energy efficiency index (ODEX) (EU-27)

Note: For households, the ODEX is carried out at the level of 3 end-uses (heating, water heating, cooking) and 5 large appliances (refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers and TVs)

Data source:

ODYSSEE, Enerdata, October 2010 update. Household energy efficiency; http://www.odyssee-indicators.org

The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers. The data extracted from the ODYSSEE database and used in the graphs are: the energy consumption by end uses, stock of dwellings, the average floor area, the number of large electrical appliances, the share of central heating.

 

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Key assessment

  • Over the period 1990-2008, energy efficiency in the household sector increased by 19%, at an average rate of 1.1% per year (Figure 1). Part of these improvements occurred in the area of space heating due to better thermal performance of buildings encouraged by mandatory efficiency standards for new buildings, and a larger penetration of high efficiency boilers (e.g. condensing boilers). For the EU-27 as a whole, new buildings built in 2008 consumed about 40% less energy than buildings built in 1990, because of new building codes [1]. For large appliances, the improvement in energy efficiency results from technical improvement driven by EU mandatory Directives on labelling and voluntary agreements with equipment manufacturers. As a result, the share of the most efficient appliances (A, A+) has increased significantly: from 6% in 1997 to 92% in 2008 for refrigerators and from 3% to 95% for washing machine, for example[2].

    [1] Estimation based on the relative performance of new buildings built with new regulations, based on building codes, compared to the performance of new buildings built in 1990.  

    [2] Source: GFK quoted in CECED presentation at EEDAL '09  http://www.ceced.org/IFEDE//easnet.dll/GetDoc?APPL=1&DAT_IM=20DA43


Specific policy question: Is the energy consumption in the household sector decreasing in Europe?

Influence of income and energy prices on household consumption per dwelling

Note: The graph characterizes the average consumption per households (at normal climate) in relation to the evolution of prices and incomes. The income per households for EU-27 as a whole is the sum of the 27 EU countries based on national Odyssee data.

Data source:

  • ODYSSEE. Household energy efficiency by country. The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers. The data extracted from the ODYSSEE database and used in the graph are:Unit consumption (normal climate), Private consumption /households and Average energy prices.

 

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Influence of climate on household energy consumption per dwelling

Note: Influence of climate on household energy consumption per dwelling between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:

  • ODYSSEE, October 2010 update; http://www.odyssee-indicators.org. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers. The data extracted from the ODYSSEE database and used in the graphs are: the energy consumption by end uses, degree days.

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% change in household final energy consumption per person, 1990-2008

Note: Based on the ratio : energy consumption / population (%/year calculated on the period 1990-2008)

Data source:

  • EUROSTAT. Population. Data on population (by sex and age on 1st January of each year) available at http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/setupModifyTableLayout.do. Reference of the table :  populat. Code of the dataserie : demo_pjan 

 

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Influence of change in dwelling size on the energy consumption per dwelling (1997–2008)

Note: Unit consumption for households can be expressed in energy consumed per dwelling (toe/dw) or energy consumed per floor area (koe/m2). The floor area per dwelling for EU27 is extrapolated from the weighted average floor area of dwellings of 19 countries (9 EU-15 countries and 10 new members) which represent around 85% of the total EU stock of dwellings; the weighting factor is the stock of dwellings.

Data source:

ODYSSEE, The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers. The data extracted from the ODYSSEE database and used in the graph are: Unit consumption per dwelling for space heating with climatic corrections,

Unit consumption per m2 for space heating with climatic corrections.

 

 

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Specific assessment

  • Between 1990 and 2008, the final household energy consumption increased by 13% in the EU-27, at an annual average growth rate of 0.7%. Over the same period, final household electricity consumption increased faster, at an annual growth rate of 1.9%.
  • From 1990–2008, per capita household energy consumption increased by 0.4%/year in the EU-27 countries, as well as in EEA countries, due to increases occurring in about half of the Member States (Figure 2). In southern countries, the progression was particularly rapid because of increasing comfort levels (more dwellings well heated in winter and diffusion of air conditioning). From 2005 to 2007, the final household energy consumption per capita decreased almost everywhere, except in 4 countries (Estonia, Spain Finland and Poland): the decrease was 4.1%/year for the EU-27 and 3.4% for EEA countries. In 2008, energy consumption per households has increased by 3.8%, except in 13 countries where the consumption per capita continues decreasing, of which Greece -3.9%, Italy -2.7%, Portugal -3.1%, Finland -3.4% and Sweden -2.1%.
  • Between 1990 and 2008, the electricity consumption per capita in the household sector in the EU-27, as well as in EEA countries, increased by 32%, at an annual average rate of 1.6% per year (as in EEA countries) (Figure 2). All member states show a rise in per capita consumption except Sweden (-5%). In Slovakia, it is also decreasing since 1999, There exist large discrepancies among countries as to the rate of progression: above 200% in Turkey, above 100% in Estonia, Cyprus, Spain, Malta, Portugal and Romania; below 5% in Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark and Norway . In recent years, the electricity consumption per capita has decreased in 11 EU countries: in Slovakia; since 2004 in Belgium; since 2005 in Austria, Luxembourg and Sweden; since 2006 in The Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy and Malta; 
  • To avoid yearly fluctuations due to climatic variations from one year to the other and have consistent trends, the household energy consumption per dwelling is also measured at normal climate (i.e. cleaned from climatic variations). Between 1990 and 2008 household energy consumption per dwelling (climate corrected) decreased by 6.4% in the EU-27 (0.4%/year) particularly due to efficiency improvements (see first key assessment and Figure 1) and rising energy prices (Figure 4). Until 2000, the average energy consumption per dwelling (at normal climate) in the EU-27 was almost stable despite increasing household income and decreasing energy prices (Figure 4). From 2005 to 2007, the decrease in energy consumption per dwelling (-1.9%/year) was driven by a very rapid increase in energy prices, more than 7.5% per year on average, all fuels combined (Figure 4). In 2008 the trends is reversed with an increase of the consumption per dwelling by 0.7%, with a slowdown in prices evolution (+1.5%).

Specific policy question: What are the main drivers behind the household energy consumption in Europe?

Households energy consumption by end uses

Note: Share of energy consumption by end uses in total households consumption.

Data source:

  • ODYSSEE. Unit consumption per dwelling for space heating with climatic corrections, Unit consumption of hot water per dwelling, Unit consumption per dwelling for cooking, Unit consumption per m2 for space heating with climatic corrections, Stock of dwellings (permanently occupied). The Odyssee database is available at http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers

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Energy consumption by end uses per dwelling

Note: Based on the ratio: energy consumption by end uses divided by the number of permanently occupied dwelling.

Data source:

  • ODYSSEE. Unit consumption per dwelling by end uses: space heating, water heating, cooking. The Odyssee database is available at http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.The data extracted from the ODYSSEE database and used in the graphs are:

    Unit consumption per dwelling for space heating with climatic corrections, Unit consumption of hot water per dwelling, Unit consumption per dwelling for cooking,  Unit consumption per dwelling for lighting and electrical appliances



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Drivers of the change in average annual energy consumption per household in the EU-27 between 1990 and 2008

Note: The energy consumption of households is decomposed in different explanatory effects: change in average dwelling size, increasing number of appliances (more electrical appliances) and central heating diffusion, energy efficiency improvement (as measured from ODEX) and change in behaviour related to more confort.

Data source:

  • ODYSSEE. Drivers of the change in average annual energy consumption per household. The Odyssee database is available at http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.



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Useful energy requirement per m2 for space heating (2008)

Note: The unit consumption in useful terms is calulated by multiplying the final consumption for each fuel by the heating efficiency for that fuel.

Data source:

  • ODYSSEE. Consumption per m2 and degree-day, percentage of entral heating. The Odyssee database is available at http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

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Specific assessment

  • With the increase of the average income per household, the average size of dwellings is increasing. This phenomenon is even more rapid in new member countries where the average dwelling size remains lower than in EU-15 countries (71 m2 on average in EU-12 compared to 92 m2 for EU-15 countries in 2008[1]). As a result, the energy consumption per dwelling decreased at a slower pace than consumption per m2 in the EU-27 (0.9% per year versus 1.3% per year since 1997) (Figure 5).
  • At EU level, the energy consumption per dwelling has decreased by 0.4%/year since 1990. This results in energy efficiency progress (-1.2%/year), due to better thermal performance of buildings but offset by more appliances and larger homes. Indeed the increasing size of dwellings and more electrical appliances (in particular large appliances but also small equipments) contributed to increase the average consumption per dwelling by 0.4% a year each. (Figure 8).
  • Space heating is the largest component of energy use in virtually all member states, accounting for around 70% of the total energy consumption of households (2008). The recent penetration of central heating (in the southern European countries and in Ireland)[2] has also contributed to increase the energy consumption in the household sector. Central heating, which includes district heating, block heating, individual boiler heating and electric heating, implies that all the rooms are well heated, as opposed to room heating, where generally a stove provides heat to the main room only. It is estimated that the replacement of single room heating by central heating increases the energy required for space heating by about 25 % on average. The proportion of centrally heated dwellings at the EU level increased from 77 % in 1990 to 85 % in 2008 (Figure 9). The share of the electricity consumption for lighting and appliances in the total household consumption has increased by 4 points, from 10% to 14% since 1990, which tends to affect the rise in the overall energy consumption per dwelling[3].
  • As a result of all these different changes in life styles (i.e. increase in the size of dwellings and in the number of large appliances and central heating), around 70% of the energy efficiency progress achieved through technological development has been offset by increasing energy consumption.

 

  • [1] The floor area per dwelling for EU27 is extrapolated from the weighted average floor area of dwellings of 19 countries.

    [2] The penetration of central heating was also significant in the other countries, but mainly before 1990.

    [3] These figures are based on estimates (e.g. from surveys) or modeling as it is not possible to measure this directly. It is difficult, for example, to distinguish between households where a central boiler provides both space and water heating or the dwelling uses electricity for heating. The proportion used for space heating depends on factors such as climatic conditions, the level of thermal efficiency of buildings or the level of comfort. See also meta data description for details.

     

Specific policy question: What are the key differences among European countries?

Energy Efficiency ODEX by country

Note: Change in energy efficiency index by country in the period 1997-2008

Data source:

  • ODYSSEE. Household energy efficiency by country. The Odyssee database is available at http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/. The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

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Specific assessment

  • Heating demand, even corrected for differences in climate and fuel mix, varies significantly among EU-27 countries (Figure 9). Apart from Bulgaria and  Spain which have the lowest rate of penetration of central heating (around 40 and60% respectively), almost all countries have more than 70% of central heating and can be compared: among them the gap in useful consumption per m2 is important (a factor 2).  Nordic countries such as Norway or Finland, The Netherlands and even Slovakia are among the best performers, i.e. the countries with the lowest heating consumption per m2.
  • Over the period 1997-2008, the highest efficiency improvement is performed by new member states Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Estonia (Figure 10), with an annual average rate of energy efficiency improvement above 2%. Most other new member states also appear to perform better than the EU-27 for which the average energy efficiency improvement rate was 1% per year over the period. This can be explained by the high energy efficiency potentials available in these countries due to outdated infrastructures (e.g. buildings, heating supply systems, etc).

Specific policy question: What are the main explanatory factors behind CO2 emissions trends in the household sector in Europe?

CO2 emissions per m2 for space heating

Note: The graph compares by country the level of CO2 emissions for space heating per m2 for 2 years : 1990 and 2008 (direct and indirect emissions). 1990 and 2008 data are climate corrected against each country’s long-term average climate, whereas the last series is climate corrected and scaled against the EU long-term average climate to account for temperature differences between countries.

Data source:
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CO2 emissions per dwelling, climate corrected (EU-27)

Note: CO2 emissions per dwelling: direct and indirect emissions

Data source:
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Variation in direct CO2 emission from household (EU27)

Note: Variations in CO2 emissions from household and the explanatory effects.

Data source:
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Specific assessment

  • In 2007 direct CO2 emissions of the household sector were 17% below their 1990 level in the EU-27, despite an increase in the stock of dwellings and the number of appliances owned. In 2008 direct emissions in the households sector has increased by 7.6%. Over the period 1990 to 2007, direct CO2 emissions per dwelling in EU-27 decreased by 29% (Figure 11). Electricity related emissions per dwelling (indirect CO2 emissions) corresponding to the emissions in the power sector associated with the electricity consumed in the household sector also decreased but at a slower pace (-17% over the period). As a result total CO2 emissions per dwelling (direct + indirect emissions) decreased by 24% in the EU-27 over the period 1990-2007. In 2008 the trends is reversed with an increase in direct emissions per dwelling by 3.8%, obviously compensated by a decrease of the indirect emissions (-5.2%); as a result the total CO2 emissions by dwelling has decreased by 0.4% in 2008.
  • The increase in the stock of dwellings and electrical appliances would have increased the direct CO2 emissions in the household sector by 99 MtCO2 all other things being equal. But the decrease of direct CO2 emissions per dwelling by 28% driven by fuel switch to cleaner fuels (e.g. gas, biomass) and electricity, led to direct CO2 emission savings in the household sector of around 154 MtCO2 (Figure 12), thus offsetting the negative effect of the increased number of dwellings and electrical appliances. 
  • CO2 savings from fuel switching and increased electricity use amount to 118 MtCO2[1], which represent 77% of total CO2 savings.
  • In the EU-27, total CO2 emissions per m2 for space heating (direct and indirect emissions) have decreased on average by 2.3% per year between 1990 and 2008 (Figure 13). Differences in direct CO2 emissions for space heating per m2 between countries broadly reflect the level of energy consumption per m2 (see Figure 9) and to a lesser extent differences in the fuel mix for heating. Differences in the carbon intensity of the electricity system explain the differences observed for the indirect emissions. If they are scaled to the average EU climate, Finland, Latvia and Norway have total emissions per m2 that were more than five times lower than countries such as Greece.


    [1] An increased use of electricity decreases CO2 emissions but increases the indirect emissions.
 

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 2.8.1 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100