Climate Change Impacts on Housing Energy Consumption and its Adaptation Pathways

  • Zhengen Ren
  • Xiaoming WangEmail author
  • Dong Chen
Part of the Springer Environmental Science and Engineering book series (SPRINGERENVIRON)


Australian household energy consumption contributes about 13 % to the total national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and thus, to climate change. At the same time, climate change will in turn impact the total energy consumption and GHG emissions from the residential sector. This study investigated the potential impact of climate change on the total energy consumption and related GHG emissions of housing in Brisbane, Australia (a heating and cooling balanced climate region) and identified potential pathways for existing and new residential buildings to adapt to climate change by simulations in terms of the resilience to maintain the level same as or less than the current level of total energy consumption and GHG emissions.


Household energy consumption Climate change Adaptation pathways 



This research was funded by CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship.


  1. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences (2011). Energy in Australia 2011. Available from Accessed Sept 2012
  2. Belcher S, Hacker J, Powell D (2005) Constructing design weather data for future climates. Build Serv Eng Res Techn 26:49–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clean Energy Council (2011) How much energy will my solar cells produce? Available from: Accessed Feb 2011
  4. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (2012). Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) regulations in Australia: review. Available from: Accessed Sept 2012
  5. DEWHA (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts) (2008) Energy use in the Australian residential sector 1986–2020. Available from: Accessed on Sept 2012
  6. Horne R, Hayles C, Hes D, Jensen C, Opray L, Wakefield R, Wasiluk K (2005) International comparison of building energy performance standards. Report prepared for Australian Greenhouse Office, RMIT University, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  7. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2000) In: Nakicenovic N, Swart R (eds) Emission scenarios. Special report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, UKGoogle Scholar
  8. Levine M, Ürge-Vorsatz D, Blok K, Geng L, Harvey D, Lang S et al (2007) Residential and commercial buildings. In: Metz B, Davidson OR, Bosch PR, Dave R, Meyer LA (eds) Climate change 2007: mitigation. Contribution of working group III to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Milles D (2010) Greenhouse gas emissions from energy use in Queensland Homes. A report prepared for sustainability innovation division, The Queensland government, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  10. NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) (2012) Available from Accessed on Sept 2012
  11. Nethad H (2009) World energy scenarios to 2050: issues and options. Available from: Accessed Sept 2012
  12. Newton P, Selwyn T (2010) Pathways to decarbonizing the housing sector: a scenario analysis. Build Res Inf 39:34–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ren Z, Chen D, Wang X (2011a) Climate change adaptation pathways for Australian residential buildings. Build Environ 46:2398–2412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ren Z, Foliente G, Chan W, Chen D, Syme M (2011b) AusZEH design: software for low-emission and zero-emission house design in Australia. 12th Conference of International Building Performance Simulation Association, Sydney, 14–16, Nov 2011Google Scholar
  15. Ren Z, Paevere P, McNamara C (2012) A local-community-level, physically-based model of end-use energy consumption by Australian housing stock. Energy Policy 49:586–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. The Royal Institute of British Architects (2011) Climate change toolkit e climate change briefing. Available from: Accessed March 2011
  17. Wang X, Chen D, Ren Z (2011) Global warming and its implication to emission reduction strategies for residential buildings. Build Environ 46:871–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wigley T, Richels R, Edmonds J (1996) Economic and environmental choices in the stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Nature 379:240–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations