The concept of sustainable economic development, parallel to a further improvement in the quality of life, conflicts with energy-driven changes in life-styles. In order to gain time, convenience, comfort and mobility, households are steadily increasing their energy use, neglecting economic and environmental concerns. This paper scrutinises Norwegian households' use of energy and the consequences of price (and climate) changes. Less well-off households were found vulnerable to energy-price hikes: households' attitudes towards energy use and their actual behaviour were inconsistent. Any measures to curb end-users energy demand must consider, besides distribution effects, that energy substitutes not only for capital and labour, but also for time and space.