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Energy intensity of the tertiary sector
In 2011, the tertiary energy consumption in the Brussels-Capital Region amounted to an average of 12,000 kWh per job in the service sector. This figure remained relatively stable over the years, but saw a decreasing trend in 2011. From 1998 onwards, the heating requirements (or fuel consumption) per job decreased, but until 2006 this was compensated by an important increase in the electricity consumption per job.
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 to a higher energy consumption per unit of the variable considered.
In order to estimate the energy intensity of the economic activities, two approaches are used: the number of workers or the production (value added). Since the tertiary sector, involving the provision of services, generates many jobs within the Brussels Region, the number of jobs will serve as benchmark for the sector's energy intensity calculations.
Evolution of the energy intensity in the tertiary sector
Evolution of the energy intensity in the tertiary sector (in relation to the number of jobs within the service sector) in the Brussels Region, with and without climatic correction of the energy consumption
Source: Regional energy balances 1995-2011 and National Bank of Belgium, according to ICN-INR, calculations by Bruxelles Environnement-Leefmilieu Brussel
As a reminder: the climatic correction is aimed at identifying the influence 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.
In 2011, the energy consumption of the tertiary sector in the Brussels-Capital Region amounted to an average of 12,000 kWh per job in the service sector.
The energy intensity in the tertiary sector (per job) remained relatively stable over the years, although we record a downward trend in 2011.
Energy intensity in the tertiary sector, per energy source
Energy intensity in the tertiary sector in the Brussels Region (compared to the employment in the service sector, for which the year 1995 = 100), according to energy source
Source : Regional energy balances and National Bank of Belgium, according to ICN-INR, calculations by Bruxelles Environnement-Leefmilieu Brussel
This general trend can be explained by analysing how the intensity per energy source evolves: since 1998, regardless of the effect of the meteorological conditions, there is a clearly noticeable reduction of the heating requirements (or fuel consumption) per job. Yet, until 2006, a strong rise in the electricity consumption per job was observed, which then stabilised.
Several factors can explain this evolution:
- the evolution of the tertiary activity in Brussels (type, number of jobs, …);
- the evolution of the equipment of the businesses (type and comfort level of the building stock, electric and electronic equipment, …);
- the enhanced energy quality of the building stock (including e.g. insulation of the buildings, new constructions which perform better in this respect);
- the enhanced energy efficiency of the equipment used (in casu: office automation);
- the effect of energy-saving behaviours, either imposed (for instance through the rising energy prices) or voluntary (because managers have become sensitive to the environmental issues and the sustainable use of natural resources): reduction of the heating temperature in buildings, ...