Energy Efficiency Policies around the World: Review and Evaluation
2.6 Household and Service Sectors
The diverse patterns of energy consumption for thermal uses (cooking, space and water heating) among world regions make any comparison between regions fairly meaningless. The following evaluation of energy trends in these sectors will therefore focus on electricity only.
The average consumption of electricity per capita in households is very diverse in developed regions depending on the level of ownership of electrical appliances and the importance of electric space heating (Figure 2.22). It varies from a value of around 1500 kWh/capita for European countries , to around 2000 kWh in OECD Asia & Pacific, and is around 4500 kWh in North America, i.e. three times the value for Europe.
Such a comparison would be more relevant if it only included captive uses (i.e. without space heating and other thermal uses, such as cooking or water heating). However, the poor availability of data on the consumption of electricity by end-use limits the possibilities for such comparisons.
Developing regions have much lower values of per capita consumption as part of the population does not have access to electricity and the ownership of large appliances (e.g. refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioning) is less common. Per capita consumption of households is 16 times lower in India than in Europe, 3.5 times lower in China and Other Asia, 11 times lower in Africa.
In India, and Africa less than half of the population has presently access to electricity . In all regions, consumption per capita is increasing. The growth is the most rapid in Asia: above 10% p.a. in China and around 4% p.a. in India and other Asia. It is more moderate in Europe, North America and OECD Asia & Pacific, compared to other regions, but is still between 1 and 2% p.a.
This general growth is slowing down in most regions (Figure 2.23). In developed regions, this is the result of both certain saturation in the appliances ownership and the effect of the policies implemented to improve the energy efficiency performance of electrical appliances (labelling, efficiency standards)
In Europe and North America, however the electricity consumption of households is increasing slightly faster since 2000. This may be due to the growing numbers of new appliances, such as IT devices, linked to the development of internet and new telecommunications types, as well as a spread of new equipment, such as air conditioning in Europe. In addition, the policy measures have been focusing only on part of the household electric appliances (usually the largest ones) . In emerging regions, the efficiency policies probably also play a part in explaining this slow down.
In developing countries, the main source of energy used in the services sector (public administration, commerce and other service activities) is electricity. Therefore, as for the household sector, the indicators considered here focus on electricity. The quantity of electricity required to generate one unit of value added (the electricity intensity) is increasing in most regions, especially in less industrialised regions in which the service sector is expanding rapidly, and in countries with air conditioning requirements (e.g. China, Other Asia) (Figure 2.24). In North America, a region with a high energy intensity level, the ratio is rather stable.