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More Appliances Means Growing Household Energy Use, CO2 Emissions
Mar 8, 2011
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Globally, houses are purchasing more appliances and electronics, and that means households' energy consumption and CO2 emissions are rising rapidly.

These findings come from Greening Household Behaviour, an OECD report resulting from the survey of 10,000 people in 10 countries. Surveyed nations were Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

Among the findings:
• Mexicans and Koreans worry more about their environment than people in the Netherlands.
• Australians and Norwegians say their own actions can make a difference.

The OECD reported on how households rank globally in certain efficiency measures.

Energy use:
• Globally households use about 30% of energy produced and emit 20% of the CO2.
• Global household energy use and CO2 emissions are rising rapidly as more cell phones, home computers, and small appliances are purchased.
• Households in Australia, Norway, and Canada have on average more than 11 appliances.
• Koreans, Mexicans, and Czechs have fewer than 8 appliances.
• Mexicans, followed by the Dutch, French, and Italians are most likely to conserve energy by turning off lights and appliances and lowering the heat.
• Almost 80% of Czech and Italian households have installed energy-efficient appliances in the past 10 years, compared to 30% in Korea and 40% in Sweden.
• Metering/charging for electricity encourages people to conserve, buy energy-efficient appliances, and turn them off when not in use. Owners, but not tenants, are inclined to invest in energy-efficiency measures such as better insulation.

Water use:
• Globally, households are responsible for about 20% of all water consumed - substantial even if still less than industry and agriculture.
• Canadians and Mexicans use about twice as much water per person as households in France or the Czech Republic.
• Use of water-saving devices varies widely - Australians, for example, are almost twice as likely as Koreans to have water-efficient washing machines, showers, and toilets.
• Pricing is a major factor in water use. Charged on a "the more you use, the more you pay" basis, people use 20% less water.

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