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4614.0.55.002 - Energy in Focus: Energy Efficiency of Australian Homes, Apr 2010  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2010  First Issue
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USE OF APPLIANCES AND WHITE GOODS IN AUSTRALIAN HOMES


The selection and use of appliances and white goods in Australian homes affects energy consumption and the production of greenhouse gas emissions.

Heaters and coolers are major contributors to household energy use. In 2005, they accounted for more that two-fifths (41%) of household energy use and nearly one-fifth (19%) of residential sector greenhouse gas emissions (DCC 2008). Nearly eight in ten dwellings (77%) across Australia had a heater in 2008, with the most popular type of heating being unducted gas (26%) followed by unducted reverse cycle air conditioners (18%).

More than one-third of households (39%) nominated ‘Comfort/convenience’ as the main reason for their choice of heater (regardless of type). Less than 2% of Australian households chose their type of heating based on environmental considerations. Between 2005 and 2008, the duration of use of heaters decreased, with households using their heater for six months or more in the year falling from 13% to 7%. It is likely that changes in the duration of use of heaters and coolers is strongly influenced by climatic conditions as well as environmental considerations.

Cooling has a low contribution to household energy consumption compared to heating, although energy consumption for cooling has been growing rapidly, up from 3 petajoules in 1990 to 12.5 petajoules in 2008 (DEWHA 2008). Two-thirds of Australian homes used some form of cooling (i.e. air conditioner or evaporative cooler) in 2008, up from 59% in 2005 and 35% in 1999. The use of coolers has been rising, with households using their cooler for 3 to 6 months rising from 26% in 2002 to 33% in 2008. Households using their cooler for 1 to 3 months rose from 35% to 40% in the same period.

1.1 HOMES USING A HEATER – NUMBER OF MONTHS USED,
2002, 2005 and 2008
Homes using a heater - Number of months used, 2002, 2005 and 2008

1.2 HOMES USING A COOLER – NUMBER OF MONTHS USED,
2002, 2005 and 2008
Homes using a cooler - Number of months used, 2002, 2005 and 2008

Household appliances such as refrigerators, separate freezers and dishwashers account for almost one-third (30%) of household energy consumption and 53% of residential greenhouse gas emissions (DEWHA 2007). Almost all homes in Australia had a refrigerator, with one-third having two or more in use. The age of a refrigerator affects the energy efficiency of the unit. Close to six in ten homes (57%) had refrigerators aged 5 years or more, while 30% had refrigerators aged ten years or more. For those homes with more than one refrigerator, more than half (51%) reported their secondary refrigerator was 10 years or older. Over one third (37%) of homes had at least one separate freezer.

Nearly half of all Australian homes (45%) had a dishwasher in 2008. The proportion of homes with dishwashers increased substantially between 1994 and 2008, from 25% to 45%. Three-quarters of all households used their dishwasher at least once a week, including almost one-third (29%) using their dishwasher daily. This was a substantial decrease in daily use, down from 37% in 2002.

Almost all Australian homes had washing machines (97%), with 20% of households using a more energy efficient front-loading washing machine. This was a large increase from 13% in 2005. Australians have been using their washing machines less frequently. Since 1994, the proportion of households averaging five washing machine loads or less per week has increased from 63% to 75% in 2008. In the same period, the number of households averaging six loads or more per week has decreased from 38% in 1994 to 25%.

The use of cold water for washing, rather than hot, is also increasing, rising from 61% in 1994 to 74% in 2008. In 2008 56% of homes had a clothes dryer, with half of these households using it only seasonally or depending on the weather. One fifth (21%) reported that they used their clothes dryer at least once a week, and 13% reported that they never used it at all.

1.3 WEEKLY LOADS OF WASHING,
1994, 2002 and 2008
Weekly loads of washing, 1994, 2002 and 2008

1.4 TEMPERATURE OF WATER USED FOR WASHING,
1994, 2002 and 2008
Temperature of water used for washing, 1994, 2002 and 2008
Water efficiency rating, energy star rating and cost (price) were the three main factors considered by households across Australia when buying or replacing major whitegoods. Energy star rating ranked first when replacing a refrigerator (50%), separate freezer (46%) and clothes dryer (45%). Water efficiency rating ranked first when buying/replacing a washing machine (49%), however energy star rating was considered more important than water efficiency rating when buying or replacing a dishwasher. Cost was considered most important when buying or replacing a heater.

1.5 FACTORS CONSIDERED BY HOUSEHOLDS WHEN BUYING OR REPLACING WHITE GOODS,
2008
Factors considered by households when buying or replacing white goods, 2008
Factors considered by households when buying or replacing white goods, 2008
Standby power consumption generally accounts for over 10 per cent of Australia’s household electricity usage, generating more than 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum (AGO 2002). Standby power is the power used by electrical products while they are waiting to be fully activated. It is a feature on many appliances such as televisions, computers, videos and DVD players/recorders.

The type of lights chosen by a household affects the amount of electricity used. Fluorescent lights and compact fluorescent lights are considered the most energy efficient form of lighting, as they use less energy and can last longer than conventional lights. In 2008, more than half of all homes (58%) in Australia used fluorescent lights or other energy saving lights (59%).



1.6 USE OF ENERGY SAVING LIGHTS (a) IN HOMES,
2008
Use of energy saving lights in homes, 2008



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