Energy consumption in households
Data extracted in June 2023
Planned article update: June 2024
In 2021, households represented 27% of final energy consumption, or 18.6% of gross inland energy consumption, in the EU.
In 2021, natural gas accounted for 33.5% of the EU final energy consumption in households, electricity for 24.6%, renewables and wastes for 21.2% and oil&petroleum products for 9.5%. Derived heat for 8.6% and a small proportion, 2.5%, was still covered by coal products (solid fossil fuels).
The main use of energy by households in the EU in 2021 was for heating their homes (64.4% of final energy consumption in the residential sector), with renewables accounting for more than a quarter (27%) of EU households space heating consumption.
Households use energy for various purposes: space and water heating, space cooling, cooking, lighting and electrical appliances and other end-uses ( mainly covering uses of energy by households outside the dwellings themselves). Data on the energy consumption of households broken down by end-use, have been collected and published by Eurostat since 2017.
In 2021, households, or the residential sector, represented 27 % of final energy consumption or 18.6 % of gross inland energy consumption in the EU.
Energy products used in the residential sector
In 2021, most of the EU final energy consumption in the residential sector is covered by natural gas (33.5 %) and electricity (24.6 %). Renewables account for 21.2 %, followed by petroleum products (9.5 %) and derived heat (8.6 %). A small proportion is still covered by coal products (solid fuels) (2.5 %), see Figure 1.
In 2021, the Netherlands (71.2 %), Italy (52.6 %), Hungary (51.8 %) and Luxembourg (50.1 %) relied more than 50 % on natural gas for meeting their needs in the residential sector. Malta (73.6 %) and Sweden (50.4 %) mostly rely on electricity. Croatia (46.6 %), Slovenia (45 %) and Estonia (40.2 %) mainly use renewables and biofuels. Households in Ireland sourced 42.3 % of their energy from petroleum products, Polish households sourced 21.9 % of their energy from solid fuels. Denmark relies mainly on derived heat, see Table 1.
Energy consumption in households by type of end-use
In the EU, the main use of energy by households is for heating their homes (64.4 % of final energy consumption in the residential sector), see Table 2. Electricity used for lighting and most electrical appliances represents 13.6 % (this excludes the use of electricity for powering the main heating, cooling or cooking systems), while the proportion used for water heating is slightly higher, representing 14.5 %. Main cooking devices require 6.0 % of the energy used by households, while space cooling and other end-uses cover 0.5 % and 1.1 % respectively. Heating of space and water represents 78.9 % of the final energy consumed by households.
The lowest proportions of energy used for space heating are observed in Malta (22.5 %), Portugal (30.8 %) and Cyprus (34.8 %), and the highest in Luxembourg (80.3 %), Slovakia (74.6 %), Belgium (74.4 %), Estonia (71.1 %), Austria (69.6 %) and Lithuania (67.9 %) (see Table 3).
Use of energy products in households by purpose
As depicted in Figure 3 and in Table 2, electricity covers 100 % of the energy needs for lighting and space cooling in the EU but also 50.6 % for cooking (Table 6). Natural gas plays an essential role in terms of space and water heating of the energy consumed for these end-uses (respectively 39.3 % and 43 % Tables 4 and 5) and in cooking (32.4 %, Table 6). Renewables cover 29.2 % of the energy needs for space heating, 13.9 % for water heating and 4.6 % for cooking (Tables 4, 5 and 6). Derived heat plays an important role only in water heating (13.2 %, Table 5) and in space heating (10.4 %, Table 4). Oil product's energy use still cover 11.3 % of space heating, 11.8 % of cooking and 9.2 % of water heating (Tables 4, 5 and 6).
Use of energy products in households: space heating
Six out of 27 EU Member States source more than 50 % of the energy needed for heating their homes from renewable energies. These are Portugal (87.3 %), Croatia (65 %), Bulgaria (55.7 %), Slovenia (59.9 %), Romania (51.3 %) and Estonia (50.3 %). The Netherlands (84.7 %), the Italy (60.6 %) and Hungary (60.4 %) are the EU Member States where the proportion of gas used for space heating is the highest. Three Member states use mainly petroleum products for space heating: Cyprus (60.4 %), Ireland (54.4 %) and Greece (43.5 %). Finally two Member State mostly rely on derived heat, Sweden (50.2 %) and Denmark (41.1 %), and one Member State (Poland) uses mainly solid fuels for space heating (30.2 %) (see Table 4).
Use of energy products in households: water heating
Derived heat is widely used, covering more than 50 % of the needs, for water heating in four Member States, in Denmark (64.7 %), Estonia (58.9 %), Finland (55.9 %) and Sweden (56.5 %). Gas is used mostly in the Netherlands (88.2 %) and in Italy (66.9 %). In addition, Malta (80.7 %), Bulgaria (60.5 %), France (47.9 %), Croatia (46.2 %) and Greece (40.8 %) use mostly electricity. Ireland and Portugal use mainly petroleum products (47.7 % and 40.5 % respectively), while Cyprus (76.9 %), Greece (49.4 %), Slovenia (40.6 %) and Austria (34.2 %) use mostly renewables (see Table 5).
Use of energy products in households: cooking
Cooking is generally based on the use of electricity (more than 50 % of the needs in 13 Member States) and gas (more than 50 % in five Member States) with only Malta and Cyprus using petroleum products for that purpose (80 % and 59.3 % respectively) (see Table 6).
Source data for tables and graphs
The collection of data on energy consumption in households by type of end-use is based on the Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on energy statistics as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 2146/2019. The provision of historical series up to 2010 is made on a voluntary basis. Mandatory reporting starts with reference year 2015.
Further disaggregation of the statistics on final energy consumption is crucial for policy makers to monitor and further develop energy policies. The first sector where this disaggregation was completed and implemented is the residential (or households) sector, followed by the industry sector. Detailed data of the final energy consumption in industry will be available from August 2022 (mandatory reporting starts with reference year 2020). Eurostat has established in the latest amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on Energy Statistics the breaking down of final energy consumption in other sectors, namely services and transport activities.
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