Europe failing to hit green targets

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Europe failing to hit green targets

Households burn while Rome fiddles.

Efforts to curb energy consumption in Europe are being more than outstripped by rising use as the European economy expands and users buy increasing numbers of electrical goods.

A report from the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's in-house scientific service, shows that electricity consumption and CO2 emissions from the residential sector alone grew at over 10 per cent, effectively nullifying all the savings made in the five years from 1999 to 2004. 

The average electricity consumption for a single EU household in 2004 was 4098kWh. The JRC reckons this could be cut by 20 percent if existing appliances were replaced with more efficient equipment.

Appliances left on stand-by are identified in the report as one of the biggest guzzlers of Watts.

Even when users buy new devices with lower stand-by consumption, they tend to hang on to the old devices and use them in secondary roles.

The JRC report also highlighted incandescent light bulbs as an easily addressable problem.

Some 95 percent of the electricity that incandescent bulbs use to produce visible light is wasted as heat.

Phasing them out in favour of compact fluorescent lamps or white LEDs would cut household consumption significantly, according to the report.
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