Keywords: cold climate, energy efficiency, existing homes, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental impact, electricity use, water use, waste generation, heating fuel, automobile fuel use, household monitoring, environmental monitoring
Household environmental monitoring a strategy to help homeowners reduce their environmental impact
A group of 20 households was established to study whether we can motivate environmentally sustainable behaviour by providing homeowners with a clear picture of their impact, tangible reasons for improvement, and tailored solutions to follow. Reports for each household compared heating fuel, electricity, water, vehicle fuel/waste generation within the group and recommended cost-effective measures to reduce consumption. On average, 26% of the recommended measures were implemented, resulting in an estimated greenhouse gas reduction of about 2 tonnes per household. Wide variations were found between households, demonstrating the potential to reduce environmental impact through lifestyle, conservation, and energy conscious retrofits.