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Measurement and analysis of household carbon: the case of a UK city

Measurement and analysis of household carbon: the case of a UK city
Measurement and analysis of household carbon: the case of a UK city
There is currently a lack of data recording the carbon and emissions inventory at household level. This paper presents a multi-disciplinary, bottom-up approach for estimation and analysis of the carbon emissions, and the organic carbon (OC) stored in gardens, using a sample of 575 households across a UK city. The annual emission of carbon dioxide emissions from energy used in the homes was measured, personal transport emissions were assessed through a household survey and OC stores estimated from soil sampling and vegetation surveys. The results showed that overall carbon patterns were skewed with highest emitting third of the households being responsible for more than 50% of the emissions and around 50% of garden OC storage. There was diversity in the relative contribution that gas, electricity and personal transport made to each household’s total and different patterns were observed for high, medium and low emitting households. Targeting households with high carbon emissions from one source would not reliably identify them as high emitters overall. While carbon emissions could not be offset by growing trees in gardens, there were considerable amounts of stored OC in gardens which ought to be protected. Exploratory analysis of the multiple drivers of emissions was conducted using a combination of primary and secondary data. These findings will be relevant in devising effective policy instruments for combatting city scale green-house gas emissions from domestic end-use energy demand.
domestic energy demand, household emissions, transport emissions, organic carbon storage, energy policy
0306-2619
871-881
Allinson, David
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Irvine, Katherine N.
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Edmondson, Jill L.
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Tiwary, Abhishek
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Hill, Graeme
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Morris, Jonathan
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Bell, Margaret
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Davies, Zoe G.
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Firth, Steven K.
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Fisher, Jill
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Gaston, Kevin J.
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Leake, Jonathan R.
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McHugh, Nicola
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Namdeo, Anil
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Rylatt, Mark
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Lomas, Kevin
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Allinson, David
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Irvine, Katherine N.
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Edmondson, Jill L.
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Tiwary, Abhishek
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Hill, Graeme
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Morris, Jonathan
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Bell, Margaret
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Davies, Zoe G.
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Firth, Steven K.
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Fisher, Jill
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Gaston, Kevin J.
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Leake, Jonathan R.
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McHugh, Nicola
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Namdeo, Anil
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Rylatt, Mark
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Lomas, Kevin
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Allinson, David, Irvine, Katherine N., Edmondson, Jill L., Tiwary, Abhishek, Hill, Graeme, Morris, Jonathan, Bell, Margaret, Davies, Zoe G., Firth, Steven K., Fisher, Jill, Gaston, Kevin J., Leake, Jonathan R., McHugh, Nicola, Namdeo, Anil, Rylatt, Mark and Lomas, Kevin (2016) Measurement and analysis of household carbon: the case of a UK city. Applied Energy - Elsevier, 164, 871-881. (doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.11.054).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is currently a lack of data recording the carbon and emissions inventory at household level. This paper presents a multi-disciplinary, bottom-up approach for estimation and analysis of the carbon emissions, and the organic carbon (OC) stored in gardens, using a sample of 575 households across a UK city. The annual emission of carbon dioxide emissions from energy used in the homes was measured, personal transport emissions were assessed through a household survey and OC stores estimated from soil sampling and vegetation surveys. The results showed that overall carbon patterns were skewed with highest emitting third of the households being responsible for more than 50% of the emissions and around 50% of garden OC storage. There was diversity in the relative contribution that gas, electricity and personal transport made to each household’s total and different patterns were observed for high, medium and low emitting households. Targeting households with high carbon emissions from one source would not reliably identify them as high emitters overall. While carbon emissions could not be offset by growing trees in gardens, there were considerable amounts of stored OC in gardens which ought to be protected. Exploratory analysis of the multiple drivers of emissions was conducted using a combination of primary and secondary data. These findings will be relevant in devising effective policy instruments for combatting city scale green-house gas emissions from domestic end-use energy demand.

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Accepted/In Press date: 29 November 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 January 2016
Published date: 15 February 2016
Keywords: domestic energy demand, household emissions, transport emissions, organic carbon storage, energy policy
Organisations: Centre for Environmental Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385652
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385652
ISSN: 0306-2619
PURE UUID: 435eaeed-b837-4bda-a94f-7433e326efba

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Date deposited: 19 Jan 2016 11:38
Last modified: 16 Dec 2019 20:09

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Contributors

Author: David Allinson
Author: Katherine N. Irvine
Author: Jill L. Edmondson
Author: Abhishek Tiwary
Author: Graeme Hill
Author: Jonathan Morris
Author: Margaret Bell
Author: Zoe G. Davies
Author: Steven K. Firth
Author: Jill Fisher
Author: Kevin J. Gaston
Author: Jonathan R. Leake
Author: Nicola McHugh
Author: Anil Namdeo
Author: Mark Rylatt
Author: Kevin Lomas

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