by: Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
The housing sector is one of the priority areas with regard to energy efficiency in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) region – not only because it consumes a large amount of energy (up to 50 percent of total final consumption in individual member States in some of the recent years), but also because it remains remarkably wasteful. While the state of existing technology provides a high potential for drastically reduced energy use in housing, the sector currently maintains outdated inefficient practices, and is one of the drivers of high levels of consumption.
The implications are not trivial. Much more energy is used than necessary; the contribution of housing to carbon dioxide emissions is high and growing; many residents do not have affordable or “clean” energy sufficient to support their
subsistence; the penetration of efficiency technology in housing is low and much of the related business potential is untapped. Rationalizing energy use in housing can address these challenges and thereby contribute to resolving today’s global problems of climate change, energy security, economic uncertainty, and poverty.