Residential energy consumption patterns and the overall housing energy requirements of urban and rural households in Finland

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Abstract

In this study, we analyze holistically the residential energy consumption patterns and the overall housing energy requirements of urban and rural households in Finland. We study separately three of the most common types of housing—apartment buildings, row-/terraced houses, and detached houses—and include private and the communal building energy as well as the amount of energy consumed by free-time residences. With this study, we add perspective to the ongoing discussion on the sustainability of urban versus rural living and that of different housing types. We employ Household Budget Survey data from Statistics Finland and data from the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) to extract the actual energy purchases and convert them into energy units. Our key findings include five perspectives: (1) behavioral differences seem significant between different housing modes; (2) each housing mode appears to be less energy-intensive in rural areas; (3) including indirect energy purchases is essential when comparing different housing modes; (4) unit-of-analysis (m2, capita, household) selection strongly affects the results; and (5) the energy mixes vary significantly between the studied building types, changing from the predominance of non-renewables in apartment buildings to that of renewables in detached houses, which in turn has interesting carbon footprint implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-303
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Building type
  • Household
  • Lifestyle
  • Real estate business
  • REB
  • Residential energy
  • Rural
  • Urban

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