Energy Efficiency in Domestic Electrical Energy Use

As part of the SINFONIA project 40 Households from the demonstration projects participated in the electricity monitoring and electricity consulting in Innsbruck. Among them was a higher than average share of retired people and only few families. Within this sample the refrigeration and entertainment sectors are the dominant fields of electrical energy use. If new and highly energy efficient appliances were used throughout a considerable improvement could be expected, e.g. with modern A+++ Fridge/Freezers using only half of the observed value for the category. Entertainment equipment must, however, not be neglected. The recent development to ever larger screens and the growing diversity of decoders, set-top boxes and receivers adds to this. Particularly stand-by consumption can be large. The latter is also true for telephone/DSL routers as these are operated 24/7. These should be included in the ecodesign labelling scheme in the near future.

The results of the presented monitoring back the assumption that around 75 % of the reduction potential is due to the refrigeration and entertainment sectors. Hence deep retrofit activities like within the SINFONIA project should always include programmes to incentivise the replacement of old, inefficient household appliances. As many apartments have fitted kitchens it is a recommendation to incentivise landlords/housing companies to supply energy efficient refrigeration appliances as part of the retrofit. Their long-term perspective as owners of the building eliminates the hesitation older tenants may have towards investing in better appliances with only long-term rewards as well as the shortage in capital that prevents low-income households to invest despite the fact that the total cost of ownership would be reduced appreciably. In low-income housing such would also reduce utility bill poverty and resulting rent arrears.

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