The EU number-crunchers found that while homes in the EU only emitted 12 % of energy emissions directly, that figure rose to 25% when related emissions from power plants and district heating were taken into account.
Monica Frassoni, president of the non-profit European Alliance to Save Energy, said that the report findings underlined the “pressing need” for the EU to step up its regulatory efforts.
“The EU has an opportunity to do this through the proposals for the Energy Efficiency Directive,” she told EurActiv. Frassoni was a Green member of the European Parliament for northwest Italy until 2009.
“Binding measures like an EU-wide energy saving obligation will ensure that energy companies help consumers across the EU to save energy, and in parallel give private investors the regulatory guarantees they need to help households overcome the initial investment barriers that hamper the most simple home energy-efficiency improvements,” she said.
The EEA report, End-user GHG emissions from energy: Reallocation of emissions from energy industries to end users 2005-2009, used an analytical method of redistributing 'indirect' emissions, mostly from oil refineries and plants generating electricity and heat, in order to calculate the overall emissions linked to each sector.
It found that when indirect emissions were considered, greenhouse gas emissions from the commercial sector grew from 5% to 15%, and the figures for industry jumped from 15% to 26%. Transport emissions rose from 25% to 29 %.
Between 2008 and 2009, energy-related emissions in the EU fell by 7%, largely because of the economic recession, the report found.