Europe fights climate change on home front

The European Union is calling on householders to turn their attention to cutting the carbon footprint of their homes.

Tackling energy use in buildings is key to combating climate change

Tackling energy use in buildings is key to combating climate change

According to figures published by the EU, homes are responsible for a quarter of all energy usage in Europe and that proportion is on the rise.

Now Europeans are being asked to do their bit to halt the increase, taking basic steps like turning off unused lights and turning down the thermostat a few degrees.

Energy use in buildings is steadily climbing up the political agenda in Brussels.

Given domestic energy consumption is so large and can be tackled with simple steps like insulation, double glazing and efficient light bulbs, it is not surprising MEPs have been urging action.

They face an uphill battle as ever-cheaper electrical equipment and increasing affluence translates into growing energy consumption.

In an attempt to turn the tide, the EU has resorted to shock tactics, publishing a list of home energy sins.

These include:

  • A TV on "standby" uses 45% of the electricity used by a TV that is on.
  • Electrical equipment on standby uses 10% of household energy in the EU.
  • Turning down the thermostat just 1º means energy savings of 7%.
  • Washing clothes at 30º C as opposed to 40º C uses 40% less energy and is generally as efficient.
  • Leaving phone re-chargers plugged in uses energy - 95% of which is wasted.

    Sam Bond

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