Making your home and overall living conditions energy efficient has significant impacts in your and your family’s mental and physical health and well-being. Simple matters such as healthy humidity levels, air quality, reduced noise levels, and air temperatures can improve a person’s disposition and wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the occurrence of approximately 3 million premature deaths worldwide in a single year have been verified as due to air pollution. The WHO report also revealed that fuel poverty and chronic thermal discomfort can also have adverse effects on a person’s mental health.
As a way to counter the current health issues caused by fuel poverty, energy efficiency measures and policies have been instituted. Countries that formed an alliance with the International Energy Agency (IEA) such as the UK, US, NZ, AU, and Ireland have legislated policies that promote energy efficiency in buildings, including homes.
What is Fuel Poverty
Fuel poverty happens when a single household spends about 10% of their yearly income, on energy. As a result, their living conditions are less than favorable because dwellers are confronted with a fusion of various problems such as poor housing quality, high energy costs and minimized income. .
It is reported that fuel poverty is heavily interlinked with poor mental health due to the financial problems and stress over unpaid debts and high energy bills faced by individuals. While energy efficiency measures is not the solve-all solution to such problems, it can at least enable to households to reduce the strain on their low-income.
Importance of Energy Efficient Buildings on Human Health and Well-Being
Energy efficiency measures are not only applicable to households but also to workplaces and related infrastructures since they can improve the health of employees and workers who spend most of their hours in such environments . A study from Singapore discovered that those who work in energy efficient buildings had fewer if not bouts with skin irritations, fatigue and/or headaches.
Another beneficial impact of energy efficiency buildings is that it can lessen the concentration of waste matter that contaminates the air both inside and outside of establishments. China’s air pollution as the world knows is a major problem but a lesser known issue is that the poor quality of air in China has been shortening the life of regular citizens by an estimated 2 years. One of the reasons for the country’s environmental issue is the increase of motor vehicles and the large usage of electricity generated from coal.
Nonetheless, reports have it that Chinese government has instituted policies and imposed mandatory programmes like heat-metering reforms, energy savings measures, and use of energy-efficient vehicles. The country claims that through energy efficient measures, they were able to avoid 1.2 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the year 2014, whilst conserving 11% of the overall primary energy supply between the years 2000 and 2014.
Energy Efficiency Enhances Effects of Proper Nutrition and Rest
Still, while energy-efficiency does a lot in improving living conditions that can alleviate the stress caused by pollutants and high energy costs, individuals still need to have proper nutrition in combatting the ill effects of other stress factors. While working in an energy efficient building is healthful, the current state of economies today has made it necessary for ordinary workers to look for extra jobs; just so they can augment their household income.
In addition to energy-efficient living conditions, a healthy dose of essential nutrients relieves body pain and aches; allowing workers engaged in physical activities to properly rest and recover after long hours of gruelling work.