Subsequent to transportation and industry, the residential sector is the third-largest energy-consuming sector in megacities. Moreover, due to the high probability of better livelihood in terms of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, internal migration to such cities is very common.
Consequently, the growth rate in the housing sector goes up considerably. This implies a growing demand for energy and a consequent increase in environmental unfriendliness. In order to reduce unawareness about energy consumption in the residential sector, several methods may be employed. For instance, the notion of green mortgages for sustainable housing may furnish supplementary finances to install energy and water-efficient technologies.
In many countries, green mortgages have become mandatory after having remained a voluntary programme for several years. Moreover, many countries have been undertaking initiatives as part of a global promise to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. From a ‘whole building’ viewpoint, the approach to energy efficiency is gaining popularity. Building developers and homeowners must be duly supported to employ any combination of interventions that achieve the targeted efficiency level.
Primarily owing to the consumption of energy and emissions of gases that are non-friendly to the environment, the urban agglomerations need clear mitigation policies so far as the consumption of energy is concerned. In order to implement such policies, the social behaviour of consumers rejecting energy-efficient or renewable energy technologies has been highly significant.
Such social negligence is due to many reasons, including people’s dissatisfaction with the energy services compared to the conventional technologies they had been using for years. A poor installation and deficiency of information are the main causes that enhance such social negligence.
Solar water heating systems, solar air-conditioning, efficient lighting, water-saving devices, water recovery systems, grey or soapy water treatment for reuse in washrooms, and rainwater harvesting systems for watering gardens and washing cars are not so difficult to install and operate.
What, in fact, is badly needed is to educate people and to make and implement well-designed policies to eradicate the hurdle of social negligence on the road to acceptance and utilisation of renewable energy technologies.
Unfortunately, the inadequate activism of federal, provincial and local govern-ments has increased the social negligence effect a bit further. There should be apposite support both in terms of technology and finances to achieve the national goal of self-reliance so far as the urban energy need is concerned.
Dr Intikhab Ulfat