The Chinese government aims to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Rural houses account for one third of China's total building stock and for more than 20 per cent of final energy consumption, where heating and cooking consume most energy in rural houses. Energy consumption in rural areas has received little attention. Most rural houses are built by local construction workers and are not energy efficient. Dispersed coal and unprocessed biomass are the major sources for conventional heating and cooking. Such a combination makes rural energy consumption particularly carbon- intensive, causing adverse impacts on people’s health and well-being. Sustainable energy consumption in rural China is vital for decarbonisation and sustainable development. Building envelope energy retrofitting and sustainable heating and cooking technologies are available on the market and have already been piloted in rural China. Scaling up these pilots has encountered various barriers, ranging from lack of awareness among rural households, high costs and limited access.
The project RurEnergy aims to drive rural households' adoption of cost-effective systematic energy retrofitting solutions for rural houses, which systematically integrates thermal integrity improvement and sustainable renewable heating and cooking, as well as to promote energy efficient behaviour change among rural households in Province Henan and Province Gansu.