Household energy expenditures in the past 20 years: a stable share of the budget, but greater inequality
Housing- and transport-related energy expenditures account for 8.4% of French household consumption, a proportion equal to spending on leisure and apparel. This share of the household budget, called the “energy effort” (effort énergétique) peaked in 1985 but remained relatively stable in the two decades that followed. This stability is the result of contradictory structural trends. Broadly speaking, the improved energy efficiency of housing and vehicles, combined with the development of more economical heating systems, seems to have offset urban spread and the increase in the average surface area of dwellings. Inequality in the “energy effort” has increased in the past 25 years between low-income and wealthy households, between town and country, between housing categories, and between old and young households.