Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Residential

Residential sector was responsible for 10.9% of Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions in 2019


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  • Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 7.3% in 2019.
  • Decreases in all fuels used for household space and water heating.
Infographic Residential 2019
  • 2019 was a warmer year than 2018 and had less heating days.
  • Reduction in use of coal and peat over the time series and a switch to gas and renewables for household space and water heating led to reduced emissions.
  • Emissions projected to decrease by up to 52% by 2030 if all of the measures in the Climate Action Plan 2019 are fully implemented.
  • Measures include upgrades to homes, deep retrofits and supports for domestic heat pump installations.

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This sector accounts for all emissions from fuel combustion in households for domestic space and hot water heating. Emissions in the Residential sector decreased by 7.3% or 0.52 Mt of CO2eq in 2019 compared to 2018 emissions. Within the different fuels used in household space and water heating, all fuels showed decreases; coal (28.6%), peat (6.6%), kerosene (4.2%), natural gas (2.1%) and biomass (18%) decreased in 2019 due to a comparatively milder winter with a lower heating demand than that of 2018.

Increased housing stock drove the gradual upward trend in the emissions from the Residential sector after 1998, emissions reached a peak in 2010. The 2019 emissions in this sector are 13.2% lower than their 1990 level whereas the housing stock has increased by 77.7% in the same period. Winter heating demand is the most important variable determining emissions from this sector. 2019 had a milder winter than 2018 and residential consumption of fuels decreased.

Projections (from July 2020) show emissions from the residential sector decreasing by 15.5% between 2021 and 2030 to 5.3 Mt CO2eq under the With Existing Measures (WEM) scenario.

Emissions are projected to decrease by 52.4% between 2021 and 2030 to 2.9 Mt CO2eq under the With Additional Measures scenario (shown as the line in the graph below). This scenario assumes full implementation of the measures in Ireland’s Climate Action Plan that includes upgrades to homes, deep retrofit and significant supports for domestic heat pumps.

*The Projections for 2020-2030 in this graph predate the methodological changes made to the 1990-2019 Inventory. Care should therefore be taken in comparing historic and future emissions levels.

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Residential Emissions and Projections (WEM) by fuel type 1990-2030*

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