Detached houses use 82% more natural gas heating than apartments, CSO finds

The figures were published by the CSO after it received data on networked gas consumption and domestic building energy ratings.
Detached houses use 82% more natural gas heating than apartments, CSO finds

By Cate McCurry, PA

A detached house used 82 per cent more natural gas heating than an apartment in 2020, new figures show.

A detached house used 16,054 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of natural gas in 2020 which was 82 per cent higher than the corresponding mean gas consumption for an apartment, said the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The figures were published by the CSO after it received data on networked gas consumption and domestic building energy ratings.

They showed that semi-detached houses used 11,739 kWh, followed by end-of-terrace houses at 10,094 kWh, mid-terrace houses at 9,059 kWh and apartments at 8,808 kWh.

A and B rated dwellings used a mean gas consumption in 2020 of 11,483 kWh which was 4.7 per cent higher than the 10,965 kWh mean gas consumption for F and G rated dwellings in 2020.

In terms of consumption per square metre, A and B rated dwellings used a mean of 89 kWh of gas per square metre in 2020, compared with 122 kWh of gas per square metre for F and G rated dwellings.

A and B rated detached houses had an average of 194 square metres compared with an average of 124 square metres for detached houses with an F or G rating.

The mean gas consumption in 2020 for all dwelling types built in 2005 to 2020 was 10,681 kWh, which was 10.2 per cent below the mean for dwellings built in 1900 to 1966 of 11,890 kWh.

Mean gas consumption increased in 2020 compared with 2019 for all dwelling types varying from a 3.5 per cent increase for apartments to a 5.6 per cent increase for semi-detached houses.

Dympna Corry, statistician in the Environment and Climate Division, said: “This is the first time these two datasets have been combined to provide greater insight into factors that influence gas consumption such as household type and BER rating.

Heating stock
A and B rated dwellings consumed more gas than F and G rated dwellings (John Stillwell/PA)

“This analysis examined households that had a Building Energy Rating (BER) and that used networked gas as their main space heating fuel. The CSO matched 210,500 BER audits with the gas meter file using an Eircode.

“Average gas consumption per dwelling varied considerably more by household type than by energy efficiency rating.

“Looking at the data, A and B rated dwellings consumed more gas than F and G rated dwellings.

“Lower gas consumption due to improved energy ratings was partially offset by a larger floor area for dwellings with A and B ratings.

“Detached houses with an A or B rating had an average floor area of 194 square metres compared with 124 square metres for detached houses with an F or G rating. This trend of larger floor areas for more energy-efficient dwellings was evident for all household types.

“The mean gas consumption was higher in 2020 than in 2019 for all household types, indicating a possible Covid-19 effect from people spending more time at home.

“A cold spell in February and March 2018 may have caused that year to have the highest mean gas consumption figures for all household types across the six-year period.

“Dwellings with better energy ratings consumed less gas per square metre. Mean gas consumption varied from 89 kWh per square metre for A and B rated dwellings in 2020 compared with 122 kWh per square metre for F or G rated dwellings in 2020.”

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