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Keeping warm in northern China: Do rural households benefit from government clean heating policies?

Wang, Shuye, Bleil De Souza, Clarice ORCID:, Perisoglou, Emmanouil and Golubchikov, Oleg ORCID: 2023. Keeping warm in northern China: Do rural households benefit from government clean heating policies? Presented at: Healthy Buildings Europe 2023, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen University, Germany, 11-14 June 2023. Published in: Schweiker, M., van Treek, C., Muller, D., Fels, J, Kraus, T. and Pallubinsky, H. eds. Proceedings of Healthy Buildings 2023 Europe. Aachen, Germany: pp. 392-399.

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Northern rural China experiences large heating demand during winter. To address carbon emissions and air pollution, the Chinese government has developed clean heating policies seeking to switch from traditional biomass to modern energy in this region. However, to what extent these policies register with rural households’ living experiences is little researched. This study investigates households’ practices to keep warm during winter and the indoor thermal environment in a village in northern China. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered in a field study conducted in January 2022, the coldest month in a year. The data demonstrate that despite the possibility to connect to the village gas infrastructure and the general availability of electric heaters, solid-fuel stoves remain by large the most adopted heating method by households. Even so, households cannot afford to heat their homes to the government-prescribed 14°C benchmark for indoor temperatures. To cope with the cold, residents complement limited space heating by warming their bodies through clothes and hot drinking. These results indicate a gap between political expectations and rural households’ practices regarding winter heating. This study can also act as a reference to other countries that are working on energy transition affecting low-income groups.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 April 2023
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023 09:48

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