The UPV/EHU researchers have used the Input-Output methodology for the first time to calculate the energy footprint on a regional (ACBC) and local level (the Errekaleor neighbourhood in Vitoria-Gasteiz, which is the largest off-grid community in the Basque Country).
The results show that “although the energy consumed in the homes of the Errekaleor inhabitants (4.46 MWh per inhabitant per year) is, on average, 32% and 15% higher than that of the population of the ACBC and Spain, respectively, the energy footprint of the Errekaleor inhabitants (31.10 MWh per inhabitant per year) is, on average, lower than that of the inhabitants of the ACBC and Spain by 14% and 24% respectively”. This difference is due to the indirect consumption of energy embedded in products and services, which accounts for 81% of the total primary energy footprint in Spain, 75% in the ACBC and 66% in Errekaleor.
According to the researchers, “this shows that the main drivers of the energy footprint are related to what an individual actually consumes”. In this regard, it should be highlighted that the electricity from the Errekaleor off-grid photovoltaic system contributes only 0.6% to the neighbourhood’s total energy footprint. Finally, the researchers found that within the neighbourhood itself, “different types of housing lead to big differences in the energy footprint: people living in families have a 33.5% lower footprint than those living alone (28.45 MWh per inhabitant per year compared with 42.79 MWh)”. The research concludes that people living alone in Errekaleor have, on average, a higher energy footprint than the inhabitants of the Basque Autonomous Community.