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Energy intensity of residential sector

In 2011, the residential energy consumption in the Brussels-Capital Region amounted to an average of 14,500 kWh per household. The energy intensity hence dropped by 33% between 1999 and 2011. This can be mainly explained by a diminished heating requirement. Up to 2005, the domestic electricity consumption was indeed seen to increase, but since then it has started to fall.

Context

The energy intensity is the relationship between the amount of energy a sector consumes and a variable that represents this sector. Hence, a higher energy intensity corresponds with a higher energy consumption per unit of the variable considered.
In the residential sector, the consumption unit equals one household. The residential energy intensity is therefore determined in relation to the number of households and can be estimated based on the total final consumption within the residential sector (excluding transport). This is estimated, with or without climatic correction, in the context of the regional energy balances. As a reminder: the climatic correction is aimed at identifying the effect of the meteorological characteristics for the relevant year and therefore at giving an idea of the evolution of the energy consumption at a constant climate.

Evolution of the residential energy intensity

Evolution of the residential energy intensity (in relation to the number of households) in the Brussels Region, with and without climatic correction of the energy consumption
Source: Regional energy balances 1990-2011 and BISA according to the figures of the Directorate-General of Statistics and Economic Information (DGSEI), calculations by Bruxelles Environnement-Leefmilieu Brussel
Evolution of the residential energy intensity

In 2011, the residential energy consumption in the Brussels-Capital Region amounted to an average of 14,500 kWh per household.
The household energy intensity is clearly influenced by the weather conditions of the particular year (this is made clear by the discrepancies between the two curves on the graph). The evolution of the consumption with climatic correction appears to indicate a decreasing trend in intensity since 1999, the year in which the highest intensity was recorded. More specifically, according to those figures the energy intensity dropped by 33% between 1999 and 2011.

Residential energy intensity, per energy source

Evolution of the residential energy intensity in the Brussels Region (in relation to the energy consumption per household for which the year 1990 = 100), according to the energy source
Source: Regional energy balances 1990-2011 and BISA according to the figures of the Directorate-General of Statistics and Economic Information (DGSEI), calculations by Bruxelles Environnement-Leefmilieu Brussel


Residential energy intensity, per energy source

The overall trend can be clarified by analysing the evolution of the intensity per energy source: the recent decrease in the total intensity for this sector can be attributed to the clearly diminished heating requirements (or fuel consumption) per household. This is linked to the meteorological conditions. As for the electricity consumption, on the other hand, a strong increase was observed until 2005, since then followed by a decline, except in 2010.

Explanatory factors

Several factors can explain this evolution:

  • the energy quality improvement of the building stock (with e.g. insulation of the buildings, new constructions which perform better in this respect);
  • the improvement of the energy efficiency of the equipment used (e.g. electrical household appliances);
  • the evolution of the socio-economic characteristics of the Brussels' population (growth, household composition, living standard, ...) and its equipment (type and comfort level of the housing stock, electrical and electronic equipment, ...);
  • the effect of energy-saving behaviours, either imposed (for instance through the rising energy prices) or voluntary (as a result of a growing awareness among the population of the environmental issues and the sustainable use of natural resources): reduction of the heating temperature in buildings, ...
     
Date de mise à jour: 19/01/2018