Energy efficiency and energy saving in Hungary

panel discussionMaria Csutora presented the most important insights of the Hungarian case study on heating, which drew on the data of 1022 energy consumers and the outcomes of focus groups focusing on the energy-saving opportunities of households. The data revealed that overheating is quite common in Hungary: about two thirds of the households claim to heat their homes to at least 22 C° in the winter, with 24% heating to temperatures of 24 C° or more. One of the problems identified was that heating practices are often not reflected in bills, discouraging energy-saving behaviour (e.g. in blocks of flats where heating costs are shared according to the heated area). Saving on energy costs by mixing garbage into the fuel mix is still an issue in Hungary in households using conventional stoves. Focus groups showed that households are aware of the need to reduce their energy use, but they lack the financial means needed for renovation, and comfort is regarded to be an important obstacle to energy-saving practices. Household do not think that detailed information on heating costs would be helpful, however, they consider practical advice on easy-to-use techniques, provision of information in local media, and examples from reference groups to be effective.