One: Introductory Overview on Promotion of Sustainable Energy Consumption in the Residential Sector
In the scope of the ongoing regional and global international consultations on environment and development the promotion of sustainable production and consumption patterns has been repeatedly emphasized. Economic efficiency in the utilization of natural resources and non-renewable energy is being accorded growing priority, in particular among countries that depend on a narrow base of indigenous natural resources and energy imports. Efforts to identify the potentials for energy efficiency improvements have in the past primarily been focused on policies and measures to expand and improve efficiency in energy supplies and energy intensive industries. The discussion in this publication is therefore dedicated to the identification and realization of energy efficiency potentials on the demand and consumption side.
Section 1.1 presents an introductory analytical summary profile of the overall structure and recent trends in residential energy consumption in the countries of the ESCAP region. If compared with levels of per capita consumption in industrialized economies per capita energy consumption in the ESCAP region is still rather low. However, together with overall economic growth, residential sector energy end use can be expected to grow again rapidly over the next two decades. Energy use in the residential sector will grow together with population growth and continue to be determined by demographic and lifestyle trends.
In the more rapidly industrializing economies of the region it has been observed that the increasing popularity of life in smaller independent households has had a profound impact on energy consumption. Like in other sectors, in which today's investment decisions are determining the future energy needs, the future energy needs and consumption patterns of the urban households are being determined by the numbers and the efficiency of the various electrical and other home and office appliances manufactured and marketed today.
It is observed that technological progress often implies greater energy efficiency. At the same time, however, such energy conservation trends are often more than off-set by increases in appliance size and capacities or the additional energy consuming features. In its drafting of Section 1.1 the secretariat has greatly benefited from research work undertaken by Ga-Hyeong Hur of Seoul National University, which is gratefully acknowledged.
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1.2 presents an introductory overview in which Vo-Kyung
Song, President of Citizensí Alliance for Consumer
Protection of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea, discusses
the potentially important roles of consumer organizations
in consumer protection, consumer information and consumer
education. With reference to the
Factor 4 Paradigm (first introduced in 1997 by
E.U. von Weizsacker and A. and H. Lovins in their
report to the Club of Rome) Vo-Kyung Song analyzes
potentials for energy savings in the emerging modern
urban lifestyles. With reference to experiences from
the Republic of Korea, the author emphasizes the importance
of independent environmental advocacy and consumer
education, which can be expected to improve market
transparency and lead to greater preference among
consumers for more energy efficient products and consumption
During recent years, the ESCAP secretariat has on
various occasions initiated and supported national
as well as regional consultations and seminars aimed
at strengthening the role of consumer organizations
and other governmental and non-governmental organizations
in the campaigning for efficiency in energy use.
Section 1.3 presents the self-explanatory conclusions
and recommendations that have been adopted by consensus
of the participating organizations at the
Asia-Pacific NGO Forum on Effective Consumer Information
for Sustainable Energy Use, held in Seoul, Republic
of Korea, 19-21 May 1999, and at the subsequent
North-East Asia Forum on Effective Consumer Information
for Sustainable Energy Use, held in Beijing, China,
21-23 March 2001. In both events, ESCAP has greatly
benefited from the support and cooperation of the
Citizensí Alliance for Consumer Protection in Republic
of Korea, which is thankfully acknowledged.
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