6.4 GHG mitigation options in buildings and equipment
There is an extensive array of technologies that can be used to abate GHG emissions in new and existing residential and commercial buildings. Prior to discussing options for reducing specific end-uses of energy in buildings it is useful to present an overview of energy end-uses in the residential and commercial sectors, where such information is available and to review some principles of energy-efficient design and operation that are broadly applicable. Figure 6.3 presents a breakdown of energy end-use in the residential and commercial sector for the United States and China. The single largest user of energy in residential buildings in both regions is space heating, followed by water heating (China) and other uses – primarily electric appliances (USA). The order of the next largest uses are reversed in China and the United States, suggesting that electric appliances will increase in use over time in China. The end-uses in commercial buildings are much less similar between China and the United States. For China, heating is by far the largest end-use. For the United States, the largest end-use is other (plug loads involving office equipment and small appliances).
Figure 6.3: Breakdown of residential and commercial sector energy use in United States (2005) and China (2000).
Sources: EIA, 2006 and Zhou, 2007.
Water heating is the second end-use in China; it is not significant in commercial buildings in the United States. Lighting and cooling are similarly important as the third and fourth largest user in both countries.
The single largest use of energy in residential buildings in both regions is for space heating, followed by water heating. Space heating is also the single largest use of energy in commercial buildings in the EU, accounting for up to 2/3 of total energy use and is undoubtedly dominant in the cold regions of China and in the Former Soviet Union. Lighting is sometimes the largest single use of electricity in commercial buildings, although in hot climates, air conditioning tends to be the single largest use of electricity.