Measuring the embodied energy in household goods: application to the Lisbon City

There is a strong need to characterize urban areas, namely material and energy flows that represent potential ecosystem impacts with their scale ranging from local, to regional, to global. This approach, called the concept of Urban Metabolism, is based on energy and material flows model of the interrelations between the economy and the environment, where the economy functions like an environmental subsystem, depending on a permanent throughput of materials and energy. Input–output analysis has been applied to numerous economic and environmental issues, and are now compiled on a regular basis for most industrialised, and also many developing countries.In the present paper an IO table approach is made to account for the embodied energy in the household sector of Lisbon city. Although Input Output tables have highly aggregated data, which sustain several limitations to the proposed urban model, this model can be considered as a first step to compare indirect with direct energy consumption at the household level, and also to map urban areas and compare them. It clearly shows the relevance of the embodied energy in the household consumption, allowing the identification of groups of products that are responsible for the most embodied energy consumed.It also presents a flexible tool to account for various indicators, has it is shown with the CO2 emissions calculated in this paper.

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