A report from the EU's Joint Research Centre showed large increases in electricity use between 1999 and 2004, where demand grew by as much as 15.6 per cent in the service sector, and 10.8 per cent in homes across Europe.
The report also showed that electricity consumption increased proportionately with nations' GDP, indicating that continued economic growth will wipe out all attempts to use energy more efficiently.
The increase in household electricity usage was blamed on the rising numbers of dishwashers and air conditioners now in use, as well as homes which have 'doubled up' on freezers and televisions. The manufacturer of electronic goods with permanent 'standby' facilities was also identified as a factor.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist July 2007