The Ecological Economics of Consumption

The Ecological Economics of Consumption

Current Issues in Ecological Economics series

Edited by Lucia A. Reisch and Inge Røpke

Research on consumption from an environmental perspective has exploded since the late 1990s. This important new volume cuts across disciplines to present the latest research in the field.

Chapter 7: Domestic electricity consumption - consumers and appliances

Kirstem Gram-Hanssen

Subjects: environment, ecological economics, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


7. Domestic electricity consumption – consumers and appliances* Kirsten Gram-Hanssen 7.1 INTRODUCTION According to international environmental and sustainability agreements, energy consumption must be reduced, and this has been one of the goals of Danish energy policy since the early 1980s. Nevertheless, today the Danish energy consumption is at the same level as it was ten or 15 years ago. Approximately one-third of the energy is consumed directly by households for heating, appliances and lighting; this has also been stable throughout the years (Danish Energy Authority 2001). This stability, however, spans two different points: (1) buildings and appliances are much more energy efficient today than 15 years ago, and (2) the total number of both houses and appliances has been growing correspondingly. Growth in the total number of houses and appliances follows from two parallel tendencies. One is the demographic tendency towards more single-person households resulting in fewer persons to share each appliance, and secondly a parallel tendency that each household has a growing number of different types of appliance (Gram-Hanssen 2003). Since the first energy crises in the 1970s there has been focus on research in reduced energy consumption. This started primarily with technical research but from the 1980s onwards the social aspect of energy consumption also gained attention (for international overviews see Lutzenhiser 1993; Wilhite et al. 2000). At least two major approaches are seen in this research. One focuses on quantitative analyses of correlations between socio-economic background variables and the level of energy consumption (for example, Gladhart et...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information