The amount of energy consumed in Dublin city each year has fallen by more than a third as a result of the recession, according to a report published today.
The report from Codema - a not-for-profit energy agency that advises local authorities - found that fewer jobs, less business activity, and a sharp reduction in traffic meant energy consumption in the capital fell by 36% between 2006 and 2011.
The report found that carbon emissions in Dublin are now running at 5.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person per year.
Increased awareness about energy and efficiency, tougher regulations, and the greater use of gas and renewables in the generation of electricity played a part in reducing energy consumption.
However, the report stressed that the economic recession was by far the biggest factor.
Restrictions on heavy goods vehicles entering Dublin city, combined with fewer cars, resulted in a 40% reduction in energy consumed by the transport sector.
There was also a shift away from public transport, with an 82% increase in the number of bicycle journeys, as well as an increase in the number of people walking.
Business closures also played a significant part, with the commercial sector responsible for just 27% of Dublin's energy consumption in 2011, compared with 33% five years earlier.
The report also analysed the energy ratings of 60,000 homes in Dublin.
Using that analysis as a guide to the city's total housing stock, it estimates that the majority of homes in Dublin have a Building Energy Rating of D1 or lower.
It found that apartments are the most energy efficient of any housing type, while terraced houses fared the worst.