chapter  5
23 Pages

Energy Use and Emissions

The burning of fossil fuel is the primary source of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, creating a strong relationship between the quantity of energy use and the resultant carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, most climate change policy is about either decarbonizing the sources of energy, particularly electricity or demand reduction, so less is consumed. Where the latter is the focus, there are good synergies with the reduction of fuel poverty. Increasingly, as there is a move towards very low-energy homes, there is also a need to ensure that fuel-poor households have access to micro-generation technologies, particularly where these will save them money or even earn them income. There is a strong focus on the residential sector in climate change policies because it is a substantial source of emissions, is relatively well understood and could, therefore, be a relatively quick source of savings. The question for this chapter to examine is the ways in which there can be good synergies between policies on fuel poverty and those on climate change and the extent to which awkward conflicts can be avoided.