Air Conditioners Contribute to ‘Energy Poverty,’ New Study Finds

Hotter temperatures have been linked to a rise in energy poverty, with more people struggling to meet their energy bills from their household income. Flickr / CC by 2.0

The effects of climate change may more far-reaching than you think.

Hotter temperatures have been linked to a rise in energy poverty, with more people struggling to meet their energy bills from their household income, according to a new study published on ScienceDirect by researchers from Italy’s Ca’ Foscari University.

The analysis looks at eight countries – Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland – and investigates how households respond to excess heat. They have found an uptick on the purchasing and use of air conditioners, which has led to a greater consumption of electricity, and a greater proportion of income being spent on energy.

Households spend between 35% and 42% more on electricity when they adopt air conditioning, the study says.

As temperatures increase around the world, cooling is emerging as a new, basic need – even in countries that traditionally have not previously required such appliances. Read more…

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