Feature Report: Everyday Energy

4 items of content in this feature report

Going in depth


Energy, Ever-Present in Our Daily Lives

Everything we do requires energy, but we only really notice when it’s time to pay. Whether for home heating and electricity, gasoline or other consumer goods, bills and invoices increasingly include information about the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the products and services we use.

fr - l'énergie vie quotidienne
A "house of the future" at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, France. © DA SILVA AUGUSTO - TOTAL

In France, the commercial and residential sector accounted for 44% of final energy consumption in 2011, compared to 32% for transportation and 21% for the industrial sector. But because of the varied environmental performances of different energy sources, transportation accounted for the biggest portion of carbon dioxide emissions (36%), ahead of the commercial and residential sector (25%) and the manufacturing industries (19%).1

Consumer Energy Use and Emissions

In terms of expense, transportation accounts for the largest portion of consumer energy use. In 2010, French consumers spent €4,400 a year on transportation and €1,590 a year on household energy use, of which more than two thirds for heating2. Consumer emissions follow the same pattern, with transportation accounting for more than half of the total (54% or 3,972 kilograms of carbon dioxide per person), well ahead of housing (30%) and food (16%). The young (18- to 24-year-olds), the old (people over 65) and very-high-income households generally have the biggest carbon footprints.

In France, the commercial and residential sector accounted for 44% of final energy consumption

Numerous measures have been implemented by both governments and businesses to reduce consumers’ energy consumption and consequently their emissions.

On average, a French consumer spends €4,400 a year on transportation and €1,590 a year on household energy use.

Everybody's Business

Improving energy efficiency isn’t just a job for governments and industries. Consumers are also getting into the act.

When multiplied across the population, a few simple habits adopted by a well-informed consumer can have a major impact on energy performance, in such areas as housing, transportation and consumer goods (See Close-Up: "In Our Daily Lives: Everyday Energy-Saving Tips").



(1) ADEME (French only)

(2) ADEME (French only)