SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
This publication presents the results from the 2009 State Supplementary Survey - Queensland Water and Energy Use and Conservation, conducted in October 2009.
The survey collected data across all of Queensland on selected household usage of water and energy such as swimming pools, irrigation watering systems, air conditioning and hot water systems. Also collected were data on sources of water and energy for the dwelling, as well as data on insulation, whitegoods and televisions, all of which have implications for resource use. As such, survey results may provide further understanding of the environmental impact of Queensland households.
Another environmental component of the survey was public transport use by persons in the household. Data items included whether or not public transport was used, how often it was usually used and reasons why public transport was used or not used. Public transport data were only collected for Brisbane.
The Queensland Water and Energy Use and Conservation Survey estimated that at the time of the survey there were 1,654,000 households in Queensland. The majority of households were connected to mains water and electricity. There were also a substantial number of households receiving their water and energy from multiple sources.
Sources of water
Households can use multiple water sources. Nine out of ten Queensland households (90% or 1,485,300) used mains water. Rainwater was used by 38% (635,100) of households in Queensland.
Sources of energy
Households can use multiple energy sources. Almost all Queensland households (99.9% or 1,652,600) used mains electricity. LPG/bottled gas was used by 19% (316,500) of Queensland households and mains gas was used by 12% (203,900). Solar energy was used by 10% (157,600) of households in Queensland.
Insulation was installed in, or on order by, 57% (935,300) of Queensland households.
There were 805,100 owner occupied dwellings with insulation installed or on order, of which 56% (448,700) reported the main reason for installing it was to achieve comfort.
Households having a secured loan or mortgage were more likely (68% or 97,000) to install insulation if a rebate or grant was offered compared with those who owned their dwelling outright (42% or 63,000).
Almost all Queensland households had a refrigerator (99.6% or 1,647,600), with 60% (998,500) of Queensland households using only one refrigerator and 36% (593,100) using two refrigerators.
Almost all Queensland households had a washing machine (98.5% or 1,629,600). Of these, 27% (447,500) had a front-loading machine and 73% (1,182,100) had a top-loading machine. Most households with a washing machine (69% or 1,122,200) averaged five or less loads of washing per week.
There were 957,800 households with a clothes dryer, which represented 58% of all Queensland households. Just over one quarter (26% or 247,400) of households with a clothes dryer used it at least once a week. Of the households with an annual household income of less than $25,000 per year, 39% (128,700) had a clothes dryer. In comparison, 75% (202,400) of households with the highest income level ($110,000 or more per year) had a clothes dryer.
Half of all Queensland households had a dishwasher (50% or 821,200), of which 36% (292,400) used it daily. Of the households with an annual household income of less than $25,000 per year, 24% (77,300) had a dishwasher, compared with 75% (203,400) of households with the highest income level ($110,000 or more per year).
Almost all households in Queensland used at least one television (99.3% or 1,642,200). Most households with televisions (71% or 1,170,000) used at least one cathode ray tube (CRT) television, while 55% (901,800) used at least one flat screen (plasma or LCD) television.
Of households with televisions, those with an annual income of less than $25,000 were less likely (34%) to have a flat screen television than those with an annual income of $110,000 or more (74%).
One third of Queensland households (33% or 548,300) used only one air conditioner for cooling. A further 34% (563,700) used two or more air conditioners for cooling.
Of households with an annual income of $110,000 or more, 20% (54,800) did not have air conditioners or did not use any for cooling, compared with 45% (147,500) of households with an annual income of less than $25,000.
Hot water systems
Almost all (99.9% or 1,652,600) Queensland households used a hot water system.
Of the households with a hot water system, 75% (1,233,400) used electricity as the energy source for their hot water system, 15% (240,600) used gas and 8% (135,500) used solar energy.
Swimming pools and gardens
There were 280,500 households (17% of all Queensland households) with a private swimming pool at their dwelling. Of these, 47% (131,600) used mains/town water to fill or top up their swimming pool.
There were 1,391,500 households that had a garden, which represented 84% of all Queensland households. Of these households with a garden, 24% (329,300) used an irrigation watering system.
Brisbane public transport usage
At the time of the survey, there were 1,458,500 usual residents aged 18 years and over in the Brisbane Major Statistical Region. An estimated 35% (509,500) of these usual residents used public transport in the month prior to the survey. Of these, 41% (208,900) reported they usually used it between three and seven days a week.
Persons aged 18 to 24 years were most likely to use public transport, with 54% (113,700) of this age group using it in the month prior to the survey. Of the persons aged 65 years and over, 33% (66,100) used public transport in the month prior to the survey.
Of the persons who used public transport, 45% reported the main reason for doing so was because it was more convenient than their own transport. In comparison, 65% of those who did not use public transport reported it was because they preferred using their own car for convenience/comfort/privacy.