Householdsand#8217; Energy Use - Which is the More Important: Efficient Technologies or User Practices?

Kirsten Gram-Hanssen
Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, Denmark

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp11057992

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:32, s. 992-999

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Much policy effort focuses on energy efficiency of technology; though not only efficiency but also user practices is an important factor influencing the amount of consumed energy. This paper will explore to what extent energy efficiency of appliances and houses or user practices are the more important; both for understanding why some households consume much more energy than others; and when looking for relevant approaches to a future low carbon society. The paper uses several sources to explore this question; including results from the researcher’s own projects; review of other studies and national statistics. Through the presentation of these different projects and examples it is shown how user practices are at least as important as the efficiency of technology when explaining households’ energy consumption. The paper concludes that more research in this field is necessary. In relation to energy policy it is argued that it is not a question of efficiency or practices; as both have to be included in future policy if energy demand is actually to be reduced.


Households; Consumption; User practices; Energy efficiency


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