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The role of households in a more sustainable future

Autumn in Paris brings back memories of a cold and uncomfortable winter last year. Not because temperatures were particularly low – quite the opposite. Like a number of other European countries (e.g. Germanythe Netherlands and Denmark), France implemented heating restrictions for public buildings and offices to conserve energy and decrease reliance on Russian gas. Households took similar action, by lowering thermostats, reducing hot water usage and retrofitting buildings. For many, this was a reaction to high energy prices, but for some, a response to calls for collective action. The reduced demand for energy in residential and commercial buildings across the European Union resulted in a drop in the demand for natural gas totalling 7 billion cubic metres in 2022. Over the same period, total demand across all sectors reduced by 55 billion cubic metres, equivalent to the amount of gas needed to supply over 40 million homes.

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