SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
ENERGY AND WATER USE IN NSW
In October 2006 there were an estimated 2,666,800 NSW households. Electricity was the most common energy source used by NSW households to power home heating and cooling systems. An estimated 1,372,600 or 52% of households used reverse cycle air-conditioning or other electric heating to heat their homes. An estimated 1,321,600 or 50% of NSW households used either ducted, split system or portable air-conditioning to cool their homes.
An estimated 1,530,300 or 57% of NSW households have one shower in their dwelling compared to an estimated 227,300 or 9% of households that have 3 or more showers. Front loading washing machines are used by an estimated 381,900 or 14% of NSW households compared to an estimated 2,103,100 or 79% who use a top loading machine.
MAIN TYPE OF HEATING USED BY HOUSEHOLDS
An estimated 27% of NSW households used reverse cycle air conditioning as the main type of heating, 25% used other types of electric heating and 23% used gas heating.
Wood heating was used by 11% of NSW households as the main type of heating, with the greater proportion of those being outside Sydney in the Balance of NSW.
Households living in separate houses were the greatest users of reverse cycle air-conditioning, whereas households living in flats, units or apartments more frequently used other types of electric heating.
HOUSEHOLDS, Main type of heating used
MAIN TYPE OF COOLING USED BY HOUSEHOLDS
In NSW air-conditioning was the most common main form of home cooling, and was used by approximately half of all NSW households. An estimated 21% of these households used split system air-conditioning, an estimated 17% used portable or set in the wall air-conditioners, and an estimated 12% of households used ducted air-conditioning. Over 30% of NSW households used a fan as their main type of home cooling.
Split system or ducted air conditioning were the preferred main type of home cooling used by households living in larger homes of 3-4 bedrooms.
Fans were the preferred method of home cooling used by households living in flats, units or apartments.
Evaporative cooling was used predominately outside Sydney in the Balance of NSW.
HOUSEHOLDS, Main type of cooling
ENERGY USE FOR HOT WATER SYSTEMS
The most common energy type for hot water systems in NSW was off-peak electricity at 44% of households. An estimated 26% of households used mains gas to heat hot water.
Separate houses were more likely to use off-peak electric hot water heating at 52%. The majority of households living in flats, units or apartments used other forms of electric hot water heating.
Solar energy was used by 3% of all NSW households to heat hot water.
HOUSEHOLDS, Energy type used for hot water system
DOMESTIC INDOOR WATER USE
The number of showers inside a dwelling and the number of loads of washing done per week by households is an indicator of household water usage.
The majority (57%) of households in NSW have only one shower. There were an estimated 9% of households with 3 or more showers.
Front loading washing machines are the most water efficient type of machine, and are used by 14% of all NSW households.
Approximately 79% of NSW households use top loading machines. Although twin tub machines are used by a small proportion (2%) of NSW households, most of these machines are used in areas in the Balance of NSW.
Cold water is used for 71% of washing machine loads done by NSW households. Warm water accounts for 17% of washing loads, while about 2% of washing loads are done in hot water.
An estimated 65% of NSW households do 1 to 5 loads of washing per week, compared to an estimated 12% that wash 9 loads or more per week.
CLOTHES DRYING HABITS
The majority of households in NSW used a private or shared outdoor clothes line. An estimated 94% of households living in separate houses use a private outdoor clothes line.
An estimated 1,611,300 households in NSW used an electric clothes dryer. An estimated 29% of households used their electric clothes dryer once per week, while 37% used it less than once per month. Approximately 46% of households living in flats, units or apartments used an electric clothes dryer, and used it at least once per week. Approximately 42% of households living in separate houses used their electric clothes dryer less than once per month. An estimated 14% of NSW households that have a clothes dryer, reported that they never used their clothes dryer.
SWIMMING POOL OWNERSHIP AND MAINTENANCE
An estimated 361,100 or 14% of households in NSW have either a swimming pool and/or a spa. A higher proportion of households in Sydney have either a pool or spa compared with the Balance of NSW.
An estimated 70,700 or 20% of swimming pool and/or spa owners have a pool cover. An estimated 57% of these households, regularly cover their pool in the warmest months. During the coolest months, an estimated 76% of pool owners with a pool cover, reported that they would always cover their pool.
During the warmer months the majority of NSW households with a swimming pool reported using a pool filter to clean their pools for between 3 and 11 hours per day.