The direct and indirect energy requirement of households in the European Union

A. H.M.E. Reinders, K. Vringer, K. Blok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we evaluate the average energy requirement of households in 11 EU member states. By investigating both the direct (electricity, natural gas, gasoline, etc.) and the indirect energy requirement, i.e. the energy embodied in consumer goods and services, we add to research done on only the direct household energy requirement. Our analysis is mainly based on data of expenditures of households and the associated energy intensities of consumer goods. We found that differences between countries in the total energy requirement of households are mainly due to differences in total household expenditure. In particular, the indirect energy requirement is linearly related to the total household expenditure. The share of direct energy to the total energy requirement in different countries varies from 34% up to 64%. Differences in climate do not fully account for this variation. Corrected for total household expenditure, indirect energy requirement may vary significantly per country in the consumption classes 'food, beverages and tobacco', 'recreation and culture', 'housing', and 'hotels, cafes and restaurants'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumption patterns
  • Domestic energy requirement
  • Indirect energy

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