Energy Efficiency and Energy Demand Perspectives

Nick Eyre, Oxford University

Within the UK, domestic energy use has been rising since 1970, particularly in respect to electricity, linking to the consumer society. This raises a number of issues. It is apparent that we need to invest mostly in small demand side projects, but this debate is generally ignored within emerging policies. Evidence also shows that investment in energy efficiency works, but the focus tends to be on emerging technologies, rather than people and skills. Finally, given that consumerism drives demand upwards and is unsustainable, it is questionable why efforts to move out of recession continue to be dominated by encouraging consumerism.

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