Electricity Efficiency Improvement

A Case-study in the Residential Sector

D. Coelho

ISEC - Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, INESC Coimbra Coimbra, Portugal, dcoelho@sun.isec.pt

A. Gomes, H. Jorge

FCTUC, INESC Coimbra Coimbra, Portugal, agomes@dee.uc.pt, hjorge@ dee.uc.pt




The paper aims at the presentation of a methodology used for assessing the potential for electricity efficiency in the residential sector and investigate the contributions to sustainable development through the use of efficient electric technologies. The paper starts with an introduction to sustainable development, namely the relations between energy, environment and sustainable development. This is succeeded by a general perspective of the problems associated with efficient use of energy, namely with the barriers related to the use of renewable energies and to the adoption of efficient electricity technologies. One of the most important obstacles to the development of renewable energy is the difference in price compared to traditional energy sources. The obstacles to the adoption of efficient electricity technologies are mainly related to high initial costs of efficient equipment and to a general lack of awareness of available technologies.

It then presents the methodology used for assessing the potential for electricity efficiency improvement in the residential sector considered in this study. The methodology adopted involves three main items: 1) description of the present situation, namely energy consumption patterns of electric end-use equipment and consumers' attitudes towards rational use of energy; 2) identification of rational use of energy measures that can be adopted. Two measures have been considered as having a high potential impact: technology replacement for interior lighting and replacement of refrigerators currently used by high efficiency models; 3) an evaluation of the impact of the measures on electricity consumption, on consumers the electricity bill and on pollutants emissions.