The objectives for energy saving in residential sector set by recent European energy and climate policies are quite ambitious. According to the European Commission (EC), the building sector is responsible for 40% of the EU energy consumption. At the same time, earlier scientific studies show that thanks to energy retrofitting measures, the reduction of annual households’ energy bills can be reduced up to 40%.
It is scientifically proved that socio-economic characteristics such as age, housing type and income are strongly linked to higher propensities to save on heating, and hot water usage. However, general environmental consciousness is also found to play a crucial role. Homeowners should consider developing energy conservation or retrofitting plans for their home. This is both an environmentally friendly and economically sound action.
In developing an energy conservation or retrofitting plan for citizens' homes, it is necessary to follow a typical approach: identify the problem, and the areas where energy is being lost or inefficiently used; prioritize the areas of intervention according to how much energy is being lost or inefficiently used; and systematically correct the selection of the areas prioritized according to the limits of the household´s energy improvement budget . It is important to consider that fuel poverty (defined as when a household would need to spend more than 10% of its income to maintain an adequate heating regime) is a crucial factor suffered by large part of the population, which needs support for the energy retrofitting of their households.
Table 2 1: Support of energy retrofitting of households and the private sector - Sector of implementation and type of intervention
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