Environmentalists in Britain are recommending that consumers take steps to reduce energy consumption in their households.
The Sustainable Development Commission concluded that Britain's 21 million domestic households are responsible for 27 percent of CO2 emissions, use up half the water supplies, and produce 8 percent of all waste. The commission said that refurbishing existing houses would be more cost-effective than tearing them down to build new ones, the BBC reported.
At least 75 percent of existing properties are expected to be still in use in 2050, the year by which the government intends to have cut carbon emissions by 60 percent from 1990 levels.
The report recommends the government set enforceable rules for energy consumption. It also recommends that residents recycle and use "smart meters" for water and energy.
Also, starting June 2007, people in England and Wales selling their home will have to obtain an "Energy Performance Certificate," which will grade a property's energy efficiency.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: New membrane improves energy harvesting by reverse electrodialysis