LGP News - Domestic energy saving strategie
|Domestic energy saving strategie|
|Tue, May 22, 2007|
Keith Baker Dwellings account for 27.5% of the UK's annual energy consumption, revealed Keith Baker in a talk at the 'Engaging Cogs' event 'Hungry for Energy - Will we ever have enough?' in Aberdeen on May 22.
Keith is an active member of Leicester Green Party and a co-editor of the new Community Energy website.
If the UK is to meet even the most conservative emissions reduction targets, he added, then a strategy is needed that engages academia, industry, NGOs and politicians, but most of all the public.
Increases in energy efficiency, he said, are in danger of being minimised or cancelled out by the rise in demand. The thermal inefficiency of the average UK dwelling means that up to 40% of energy efficiency improvements may be realised in improving comfort rather than reducing consumption.
The most rapid change in domestic energy consumption is the amount of electricity consumed by lights and appliances; this has doubled in the last 35 years. It is in this area that a co-ordinated strategy should have the greatest potential to reduce emissions.
Venezuela has already banned conventional tungsten bulbs, and will soon be followed by Australia and California. In the EU the Energy-using Products directive (EuP) has received industry backing and will provide a massive boost to appliance energy efficiency and eco-design.
Yet reducing consumption also requires a concerted effort to influence behaviour and technology choice through effective public communication. The Blue Peter Green Book has been credited as driving the recycling of domestic waste by 'pester power' and, similarly, energy inefficiency will need to become a societal stigma in order to make a real impact on emissions.
Improving energy efficiency is the key weapon in our arsenal against climate change, but renewables and distributed generation will have major roles to play in a sustainable future.
Domestic renewables and micro-CHP are becoming cheaper and more widespread, with the latter now more cost-effective than installing an A-rated boiler, but barriers to their installation still exist.
It is in these areas that policy-makers and engineers need to exert their collective influences.Agenda 21 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development set out the theme of 'Think global, act local'.
To reduce domestic energy demand and improve efficiency, this idea is now more relevant than ever. See http://www.engagingcogs.org/