Health benefits represent a more indirect effect of energy efficiency. On the one hand, these impacts on health are strongly related to (local) emissions from power plants, district heating and local residential heating systems as well as emissions from transport and industry. Electricity and heat generated by these facilities lead to increasing air pollution such as nitrogen and sulfur oxides, small particle matters (PM2.5) and carbon dioxide. By reducing the energy consumption, a part of this air pollution can be avoided. Also, energy efficiency policies targeting industrial processes have a strong positive effect on health by reducing emissions of PM2.5.
On the other hand, better indoor climate has positive effects on the health of residents. Studies show several examples of benefits from energy efficiency in household including mental health, autonomy and social status of residents. Especially low-income households see significant improvements in health following energy efficiency measures. This emphasises the importance of energy efficiency measures as part of a strategy to tackle social issues like fuel poverty and health inequity.
As the latter aspects of energy efficiency, such as those regarding improved life quality beyond direct health impacts are quite difficult to assess, we restrict to measure those impacts related to air pollution, i.e. avoided premature deaths by energy efficiency. This indicator is calculated by extension of the indicator regarding local air pollution in combination with premature mortality rates (e.g. using data of the EEA).
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