Marie-Alice L’Heureux (University of Kansas)
In 1993 as part of the Energy and Environment division at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California, I analyzed the energy data for the housing sector of Estonia. Almost half the housing units were in complexes with greater than 10 units; the energy was centrally provided; and individual units were not metered. Much of the housing built since then has been single family or duplex units. Most Estonians also now own the housing they live in regardless of tenure. Many of these are among the mass housing units constructed during Soviet times.
Housing size has increased since the Soviet period from 54 square meter average to over 90 square meters. The pre-independence housing stock was also fairly old. Only 11% of the housing had been built in the twenty years before independence in 1991.
This paper uses energy consumption data from the transition era (1990-1997) and compares it to current energy consumption data and suggests probable directions in the next twenty years with a focus on the social and cultural aspects of energy use.