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Energy efficiency and energy consumption in the household sector (ENER 022) - Assessment published Sep 2010

Indicator Assessmentexpired Created 05 Aug 2010 Published 14 Sep 2010 Last modified 11 Mar 2014, 01:48 PM
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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.

Is energy efficiency improving in the household sector?

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. Household energy efficiency. The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/

The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

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  • 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


Is the energy consumption in the household sector decreasing in Europe?

Influence of climate on household energy consumption per dwelling

Note: Influence of climate on household energy consumption per dwelling between 1990 and 2007.

Data source:

ODYSSEE. The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/

The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

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% change in household final energy consumption per person, 1990-2007

Note: Based on the ratio : energy consumption / population (%/year calculated on the period 1990-2007)

Data source:

EUROSTAT. Final energy consumption - Households. Energy consumption available at: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_100a&lang=en  Reference of the table : nrg_100a.     Code of the dataserie : 102010            

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 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.

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  • 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%).

What are the main drivers behind the household energy consumption in Europe?

Useful energy requirement per m2 per degree-day for space heating

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. The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/
The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

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Drivers of the change in average annual energy consumption of households (see methodology in sheet EU-27 ODEX)

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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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.

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Households energy consumption by end uses

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

Data source:

ODYSSEE. Energy consumption by end use. The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/
The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

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  • 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.

     

What are the key differences among European countries?

Energy Efficiency ODEX by country

Note: Change in energy efficiency index by country in the period 1997-2007

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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  • 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).

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 2007 (direct and indirect emissions).

Data source:

ODYSSEE, EEA

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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:

ODYSSEE. Explanatory factors. The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/
The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

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

Note: CO2 emissions per dwelling: direct and indirect emissions

Data source:

ODYSSEE. . The Odyssee database is available at  http://www.odyssee-indicators.org/
The access is restricted to project partners or subscribers.

EEA. CO2 emissions for residential and CO2 emissions of public electricity and heat production based on the Annual European Community Greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2007 and inventory report 2009. Available at: http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/PivotApp/pivot.aspx?pivotid=475           
     

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  • 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.

Indicator specification and metadata

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.

 

Units

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.

Targets

No targets have been specified

Related policy documents

Methodology

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 http://www.odyssee-indicators.org

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.

Uncertainties

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

Data sources

Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
co2 | odex | consumption | energy | households | heat | energy consumption | emissions
DPSIR: State
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 022
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2007
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

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2009 2.9.1 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

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