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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 958; doi:10.3390/su9060958

The Role of Consumers in the Transition toward Low-Carbon Living

1
School of Energy Systems, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Saimaankatu 11, 15140 Lahti, Finland
2
School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Saimaankatu 11, 15140 Lahti, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manfred Max Bergman
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
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Abstract

Improvements in energy efficiency and production of renewable energy hold significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions of housing, which accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In our research, we focused on the willingness of owners of detached houses to adopt renewable energy production systems of their own, and we examined perceived barriers to adopting these systems. The research was conducted using a survey and a life cycle assessment model. The survey covered three residential areas in Lahti, Finland, and the potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were estimated using a life cycle assessment model based on the survey results. The barriers to transformation were identified as a lack of knowledge in the following three areas: (1) the possible annual savings attained; (2) the costs of implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy production solutions; and (3) the technologies used in renewable energy production. The greenhouse gas emission reductions in the residential areas surveyed would amount to approximately 15% if the consumers implemented the solutions they considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: consumer; housing; low carbon; survey; life cycle assessment; sustainability consumer; housing; low carbon; survey; life cycle assessment; sustainability
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Claudelin, A.; Uusitalo, V.; Pekkola, S.; Leino, M.; Konsti-Laakso, S. The Role of Consumers in the Transition toward Low-Carbon Living. Sustainability 2017, 9, 958.

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