The researchers noticed that there is a direct link between the level of air pollution and the increase in energy consumption. This primarily concerns the poorest segments of the population.
High levels of air pollution are forcing people to consume more electricity. As a result, this process leads to even greater environmental problems as greenhouse gas emissions increase. This was reported by a team of scientists from Cardiff University.
According to their research, the effects are more pronounced in low-income families and in families belonging to ethnic minorities.
The full scientific text can be read in the journal Nature Energy, for the study, scientists analyzed the energy consumption of more than 4 thousand residential and 17 thousand commercial buildings in Phoenix, Arizona. Their data covered the period from 2013 to 2018.
The city of Phoenix has the highest levels of air pollution in the United States, with pollution from both natural sources (such as dust storms) and human activities (such as power generation and transportation).
Data on energy consumption of buildings in Phoenix were compared with air pollution levels in the area, allowing researchers to determine whether households of different income levels or belonging to different ethnic groups respond to air pollution differently.
The results showed that higher levels of pollution were associated with higher electricity consumption in residential buildings, with consumption growth occurring mainly during the day. Higher levels of pollution have also led to higher electricity consumption in commercial buildings in the retail and leisure sector.