Measuring carbon emission from energy consumption in a Hong Kong family

Jing Li, Yat Hung Chiang, Lu Zhou, Tracy N Y Choi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to develop a prototype for measuring the carbon emissions arising from the utilization of electrical appliances in a typical Hong Kong family in Kowloon District. Design/methodology/approach: To estimate carbon emission coefficients of energy consumption, the US building energy database books are referred to, which include home appliances' energy end-use expenditure splits and energy end-use carbon splits. Due to differences in climate, geography and culture, the estimation equations are refined with assumptions and constraints based on the context of Hong Kong. Findings: By calculating the amount of carbon emissions from different electrical appliances, including space cooling, water heating, lighting, refrigeration, wet cleaning and cooking, it is estimated that the carbon emissions from major home electrical appliances in Hong Kong's residential building sector is 1,805,397 metric tons. According to the findings of this study, by adopting the energy-saving guidelines for space coolers, refrigerators, water heaters and washing machines, carbon emissions in Hong Kong's residential building sector can be reduced by 155,443 metric tons, or by 8.6 per cent of the current emission. Research limitations/implications: Due to limited resources, the case study does not cover residential units in other districts of Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Island and the New Territories. In addition, relevant institutional and financing costs of implementing the proposed practices such as increasing the air-conditioning temperature and upgrading the lighting system should be further considered. Future research will be extended to the wider territory of Hong Kong and to obtain more cases for analysis. Originality/value: This paper provides a microscopic perspective on investigating the carbon emissions associated with energy consumption from major home electrical appliances in Hong Kong's residential buildings. By unveiling the interaction between energy consumption and carbon emission, we formulate measures and strategies for implementing a cost reduction and carbon saving scheme of Hong Kong's residential buildings, which is in line with government's guidelines on green buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-341
Number of pages18
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Carbon emission
  • Energy consumption
  • Hong Kong
  • Residential building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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