Energy use in the home
Energy use in the home is a significant contributor to UK greenhouse gas emissions at around 14% of the total. While the majority of emissions relate to home heating and hot water, there are also significant emissions produced through the use of products sold by retailers. Key hotspots for greenhouse gas emissions for the use of retail products in homes includes:
- Cooking: Water, gas and electricity used for cooking food.
- Refrigeration: Electricity consumed to refrigerate fresh or frozen foods.
- Washing: Electricity, gas and water consumed for washing and drying of clothes and for personal hygiene.
- Lighting: The use of lighting in the home including directional and non-directional appliances.
- Use of electrical appliances: The electricity consumed by household appliances including computing devices and mobile phones.
Figure 8.1g: Emissions resulting from use of products at home
Routes to decarbonising energy use in homes
Ultimately, decarbonising the energy use in homes will rely on the decarbonisation of the UK energy system. The switch to renewable electricity for powering and heating homes will need to be supported by improvements to home energy efficiency including improving insulation and smart metering.
There are, however, a number of actions that will reduce energy consumption and emissions:
- Cooking: Shifting cooking to electrical appliances that can be powered by renewable fuel.
- Refrigeration: Ensuring that the highest efficiency refrigerators are used.
- Washing: Switching to low temperature washing of clothes, increased air-drying of clothes, reducing the frequency and lengths of showers and baths.
- Use of electrical appliances: Improving efficiency of appliances, ensuring that unused appliances are switched off.
- Lighting: Shifting to lower energy lighting systems including LED light bulbs.