Do energy subsidies affect the indoor temperature and heating energy consumption in low-income households?

Younhee Choi, Doosam Song, Akihito Ozaki, Haksung Lee, Sowoo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As social interest in energy welfare increases, support programs and policies for fuel poverty are steadily being implemented. Energy subsidies play a significant role in improving the indoor thermal conditions affected by fuel poverty. However, various measures to reduce green-house gas emissions in the building sector are being applied. As a result, a balance between energy welfare and energy saving policies is required. This study aims to analyze the effect of an energy subsidy on improving the indoor temperature and heating energy consumption in low-income dwellings. Long-term and detailed measurements and surveys were conducted for 16 low-income households in an apartment complex in Korea (semi-cold climate). The indoor temperature and heating energy use with/without energy voucher were analyzed. In addition, the annual heating energy consumptions of all 1460 households in the same apartment complex were analyzed. The results showed that the indoor average temperature of the households receiving the energy subsidy was 24.68 °C, and the households without the energy subsidy were 22.62 °C. In addition, the indoor minimum temperature of the households receiving the energy subsidy was about 1.5 °C higher. The annual heating energy use increased by 59.9% for the older building and 26.6% for the newer building compared with those who did not receive energy subsidies. Energy vouchers have a strong influence on the indoor thermal condition and heating energy consumption of low-income dwellings. The energy subsidy policy for the low-income households needs to be re-examined in terms of energy savings and energy welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111678
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Volume256
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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