Energy use in households up 6 % in 2021

In 2021, households accounted for 27 % of final energy consumption in the EU. Most of the EU’s final energy consumption in households was covered by natural gas (33.5 %) and electricity (24.6 %). Renewables accounted for 21.2 %, followed by oil and petroleum products (9.5%) and derived heat (8.6 %). A small proportion (2.5 %) was still covered by coal products (solid fossil fuels).

Compared with 2020, in 2021 the energy consumption among EU households increased by 5.5 % to a total value of almost 11.0 million Terajoules, with the shares of natural gas (+1.8 percentage points (pp)), renewables (+0.9 pp) and derived heat (+0.4 pp) in the final consumption of households increasing. On the other hand, the share of oil and petroleum products decreased more notably (-2.8 pp), with electricity and solid fossil fuels on the same path (-0.2 pp each).

In the EU, the main use of energy by households is for heating homes (64.4 % of final energy consumption in the residential sector), followed by water heating (14.5 %).

Electricity used for lighting and most electrical appliances represents 13.6 % (this excludes the use of electricity for powering the main heating, cooling, or cooking systems).

Main cooking devices require 6.0 % of the energy used by households, while other end-uses and space cooling cover 1.1 % and 0.5 %, respectively. The heating of space and water consequently represents 78.9 % of the final energy consumed by households, indicating an increase of 1.0 pp compared with 2020.

Looking at 2020, in 2021 the consumption in all the six end-uses mentioned above was up, but more clearly in terms of space cooling (+10 %) and space heating (+7 %). The general category “other uses” also saw an increase of 17 %.

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Methodological notes:

  • Electricity produced from renewable sources (e.g. hydro, wind, solar photovoltaic) is included under electricity and not shown as renewables. In this context, renewables include only those sources that are directly consumed by households, such as solid biofuels (e.g., firewood, wood pellets), biogas, solar thermal energy from active systems and ambient heat captured by heat pumps.
  • The category “other end uses” refers to all other end uses not included in the presented categories. This category covers any other energy consumption in households such as use of energy for the outdoors and any other activities not included in five major energy end-uses mentioned above (e.g. lawn mowers, swimming pool heating, outdoor heaters, outdoor barbeques, saunas, etc).