Saving on Heating Costs by Reducing Gas Consumption
The RWTH Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate is researching different measures for private households to save gas.
A study by researchers based in Aachen and Berlin evaluates different energy efficiency measures that are easy to implement and cost-effective. The Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate at E.ON Energy Research Center in Aachen, together with the Einstein Center Digital Future at TU Berlin, have now formulated recommendations on how to efficiently address the situation that Germany is currently facing with scarce and more expensive natural gas. In addition to industry, commerce, trade, and services, private households should significantly reduce gas consumption for space heating and domestic hot water, if possible through technical measures and behavioral changes that are easy to implement. This only results in minimal changes to comfort levels.
Space heating and domestic hot water account for around 70 percent of household energy consumption. Almost one in two homes in Germany uses natural gas for heating. This consumption can be significantly reduced without any economic disadvantages. Some of the measures described can be implemented without any additional investments, while others require low to moderate expenditures on technical equipment or insulation materials. Proposals with very high investment requirements were not included, as they are not expected to be implemented in the short term. The proposed measures can largely be implemented without needing support from skilled tradespeople, for example, construction activities that require expertise.
The results of the researchers' calculations strongly indicate potential reductions in consumption. With little investment, up to 49 percent of space heating needs can be reduced. As much as 69 to 81 percent can be saved on the energy required for domestic hot water if residents have otherwise been fairly generous with their domestic hot water use in the past. Savings are lower if energy was already only used sparingly.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection financed the basic research for the study in addition to RWTH and TU Berlin, who each provided funding. The so-called white paper is available for download below this press release.