Back to top

Characterization of the household electricity consumption in the EU, potential energy savings and specific policy recommendations


Although significant improvements in energy efficiency have been achieved in home appliances and lighting, the electricity consumption in the European Union household has increased by 2% per year during the past 10 years. Some reasons are associated with an increased degree of basic comfort and level of amenities and with the widespread utilisation of new types of loads. Wishing to increase the understanding of the energy consumption in the EU households for the different types of equipment including the consumers’ behaviour and comfort levels, and to identify demand trends, an energy monitoring campaign, was carried out in 12 geographically representative EU countries, accompanied by a lifestyle survey. From the measurements carried out it was concluded that Information Technologies and entertainment loads are key contributors to the power demand. In basically all types of loads there is wide range of performance levels in the models available in the market. Available technology, associated with responsible consumer behaviour, can reduce wasteful consumption. Based on a bottom up approach the European residential sector potential electricity savings that can be implemented by existing technologies and improved behaviour can reach 48%. The paper presents policy recommendations promoting market transformation and behavioural changes in the equipment selection and operation.