Edited by Lucia A. Reisch and Inge Røpke
Chapter 7: Domestic electricity consumption - consumers and appliances
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...
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