People and governments around the world are now making a serious effort to curb energy emissions. Ranging from policy reform to the emergence of greentech startups, it looks like people are finally realizing the gravity of the consequences of energy emissions. No doubt, the structural changes that come with this realization will ultimately impact the neighborhoods we live in. So naturally, housing is often the place to begin when considering where to implement environmentally-friendly changes.
Fortunately, homeowners can do quite a bit to cut their own energy wastage. With appliances such as routers and printers consuming energy even when not plugged in, residences are the third-highest source of energy consumption within the United States. But is it any surprise?
How European Homes Compare To The U.S. In Terms Of Energy Emissions?
In contrast, UK homes actually fare quite well when it comes to reducing their energy emissions. Results from the Environmental Performance Index consistently rank European countries as the most environmentally-friendly. The UK placed 6th last year, jumping six places in two short years. On the other hand, the U.S. placed 27th.
The EPI results are in line with the European Union’s mission to become the world’s first carbon-neutral economy by 2050. And undoubtedly, housing will have to play a big role in achieving this goal. After all, our neighborhoods tend to take a significant toll on natural surroundings.
Concrete Changes Within The Housing Landscape
Recently, the EU passed a ‘right to repair’ regulation that makes it easier for people to get their large appliances repaired.
This regulation can yield significant results, as manufacturers are required to make appliances last longer while also supplying parts for machines up to 10 years old. These regulations work to supplement current initiatives by manufacturers.
After all, properly maintaining appliances is one of the key ways to ensure your house emits less energy waste. HomeServe UK states how heating insurance is very important nowadays as it will ensure that homeowners have fully functional heating systems and aren’t wasting energy because their boilers aren’t working efficiently.
Engineers are generally available 24/7 which means they can rectify issues immediately. It is also worth getting professionals to check your water supply, pipes, drainage systems, and roofing so that they are helping to minimize heat loss.
Similarly, home services company Pacifica Group recently launched a partnership with GAP to recycle old fridge units responsibly.
Once the ‘right to repair’ regulations are in effect, homeowners should expect easier access to maintenance professionals.
These initiatives can help reduce the carbon footprint in households, especially as old appliances can end up causing far more energy emissions to do the same amount of work.
A macro-level approach would be to take a look at the neighborhoods themselves. Cooperative and social housing provides for citizens all across the continent, which offers a natural entry point for renewable energy sources and greener buildings.
Cities like Madrid and Leeds are now part of a program to create net-zero buildings, citing energy renovation as a potential key to improving citizens’ overall wellbeing. The program seeks to eliminate carbon emissions from building stocks.
The Importance Of Individual Choices In Reducing Energy Emissions
These developments also run in line with moves made by homeowners to live a more sustainable lifestyle. European citizens are known to make more environmentally-conscious choices, from leaning on public transport to using eco-friendly bags.
Trying to reverse the effects of climate change will require serious structural change, which is why such interventions are necessary. The truth is that much of the nation’s emissions are due to large corporations and factories.
But as a consumer, you can take steps to reduce energy emissions too. Coupled with large changes to the housing landscape, everyone can make a difference.
Europe continues to pave the way in this regard. And its new legislation and projects prove that how we live plays a direct role in shaping our environment.