Air Pollution Drives Residential Electricity Demand

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Singapore, 4 September 2020 – A study conducted by Associate Professor Alberto Salvo from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Economics revealed an increased household electricity consumption in response to ambient air pollution.

The study examined utility metre readings of 130,000 households (one in ten random sample of all households in Singapore) from 2012 to 2015. The same household’s energy consumption was examined over time and compared with concurrent PM2.5 measurements (fine particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter) from the air-monitoring network, which is the standard for measuring air pollution.

The findings showed that overall electricity demand grew by 1.1 per cent when PM2.5 rose by 10 microgrammes per cubic metre. The reasons were two-fold: first, increased air pollution led to households staying indoors more often; and second, air-conditioners and air purifiers were used more intensively either to reduce indoor particle levels or provide relief from indoor heat.

Associate Professor Salvo said, “Urban areas in developing Asian nations are home to an expanding base of energy consumers, with energy supply likely to remain carbon-intensive for decades in the absence of major technological or regulatory shifts. Understanding what drives energy demand across the socioeconomic distribution of Singapore households can provide an insight on the future energy demand of urban populations in the region’s cities as incomes rise. This is important for policymakers when forecasting and influencing future emissions paths in the context of climate change.”

– Construction+ Online

Source: National University of Singapore