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4602.0 - Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices, Mar 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2005   
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MEDIA RELEASE

November 29, 2005
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
124/2005
Snapshot of energy use and conservation in Australian households: ABS

Housing insulation, energy-saving lights and off-peak hot water systems are all increasingly popular energy conservation measures used by households, according to a new report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Some of the key findings in the survey report were:
  • The use of insulation has increased, from 52% of dwellings in 1994 to 60% in 2005.
  • More than half (57%) of Australian dwellings had at least one room illuminated by standard fluorescent lights, while one-third (33%) of dwellings used other energy-saving lights. The use of other energy-saving lights has increased from 23% in 2002.
  • Close to half of Australian dwellings (48%) applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows; outside awnings and/or shutters being the most popular.
  • Solar energy was used for heating water in 4% of households. In the Northern Territory and South Australia, however, 42% and 16% of households respectively used solar energy to heat water.
  • Off-peak electricity for hot water systems was used in 34% of Australian households, an increase from 30% in 2002.
  • Almost all dwellings in Australia have at least one refrigerator, washing machine, television and vacuum cleaner. More than three-quarters (78%) have heaters, three-fifths (60%) have coolers and more than half (55%) have clothes dryers.
  • Over two in three (68%) Australian dwellings had computers, increasing significantly from 45% in 1999.
  • Energy efficiency rating and cost were the two main factors considered by households when buying or replacing a whitegood.
  • Environmental considerations were not a main factor in choosing appliances (11% citing this), yet were becoming more of a factor when choosing washing machines (19%).
  • More than a quarter (29%) of households were aware of green power schemes in 2005, an increase from 19% in 1999 and from 24% in 2002. However, only 23% of these households were willing to support the scheme, a slight decrease from 26% in 2002.


Energy consumption in Australian homes has been driven mostly by lifestyle choices however, rather than a desire to reduce energy use, according to Dr. Michael Vardon, ABS Director, Centre of Environment and Energy Statistics.

"The use of conservation measures was mainly to achieve comfort and convenience rather than benefits from energy reduction and cost savings," he said.

Further details are in Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0).

New South Wales highlights

Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • About 55% of dwellings in New South Wales had insulation in 2005, an increase from 45% in 1994.
  • Nearly 53% of households in New South Wales used fluorescent lights and 37% used other energy-saving lights. New South Wales, along with South Australia (38% of dwellings), had the highest rates of usage of other energy-saving lights.
  • Two-fifths (40%) of households in New South Wales applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, significantly lower than the Australian average of 48%.
  • About 3% of households in New South Wales used solar energy in their homes, primarily for heating water. The national average was 5%.
  • Close to half of households (47%) in New South Wales used off-peak electricity to heat water, significantly higher than the national average of 34%.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increase in the number of whitegoods in New South Wales dwellings, specifically air conditioners (31% to 54%), dishwashers (25% to 43%), clothes dryers (53% to 59%) and washing machines (93% to 96%). Computers in households also increased from 44% in 1999 to 68% in 2005.
  • Slightly over one-quarter of households (26%) in New South Wales were aware of green power schemes in 2005, an increase from 23% in 2002 and 25% in 1999. Close to a quarter of households (22%) that were not connected to a green power scheme in New South Wales said they were willing to support a scheme by paying extra for electricity generated from green power.


Victorian highlights


Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • About 72% of dwellings in Victoria had insulation in 2005, significantly higher than the national average of 61%.
  • Half of households (50%) in Victoria used fluorescent lights and 31% used other energy-saving lights. Use of other energy-saving lights in Victoria has also increased from 24% in 2002 to 31% in 2005.
  • More than half of households (55%) in Victoria applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, higher than the Australian average of 48%.
  • About 88% of households in Victoria used gas in their homes, the highest level among states and territories.
  • Solar energy was used by 1% of Victorian households, below the national average of 5%.
  • About a fifth of households (20%) in Victoria used off-peak electricity to heat water, significantly lower than the national average of 34%.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increased use of air conditioners (37% to 61%) and dishwashers (32% to 48%) in Victorian dwellings. Computer uptake also increased from 47% in 1999 to 66% in 2005.
  • Close to two-fifths of households (37%) in Victoria were aware of green power schemes in 2005, an increase from 25% in 2002 and from 12% in 1999. Close to a quarter of households (22%) that were not connected to a green power scheme in Victoria said they were willing to support a scheme by paying extra for electricity generated from green power.

Queensland highlights

Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • About 43% of dwellings in Queensland had insulation in 2005, significantly lower than the national average of 61%. However, the proportion of insulated dwellings in Queensland has substantially increased from 29% in 1994.
  • About 75% of Queensland households used fluorescent lights, the second highest in Australia (after Northern Territory). Close to a third (30%) used other energy-saving lights, an increase from 23% in 2002.
  • One in two Queensland households (53%) applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, slightly higher than the Australian average of 48%.
  • About 7% of households in Queensland used solar energy in their homes, primarily for heating water. The national average was 5%.
  • Half of households (50%) in Queensland used off-peak electricity to heat water, significantly higher than the national average of 34%.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increased use of whitegoods in Queensland dwellings, notably air conditioners (18% to 58%), dishwashers (25% to 41%), clothes dryers (49% to 55%) and washing machines (95% to 97%). Computer uptake also increased from 43% in 1999 to 69% in 2005.
  • Slightly over one-quarter of households (27%) in Queensland were aware of green power schemes in 2005, the same level as in 2002, but slightly higher than in 1999 (21%). A quarter of Queensland households (25%) that were not connected to a green power scheme said they were willing to support a scheme by paying extra for electricity generated from green power.


South Australian highlights

Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • About 78% of dwellings in South Australia had insulation in 2005, second highest level in Australia (after Australian Capital Territory) and significantly higher than the national average of 61%. The proportion of South Australian dwellings with insulation has increased from 72% in 1994.
  • About 55% of households in South Australia used fluorescent lights, a slight increase from 52% in 2002. About 38% used other energy-saving lights (the highest level in Australia), a significant increase from 24% in 2002.
  • Close to three-fifths (58%) of South Australian households applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, well above the national average of 48%.
  • About 4% of households in South Australia used solar energy, primarily for heating water. The national average was 5%.
  • Over a third (36%) of South Australian households used off-peak electricity to heat water, slightly higher than the national average of 34%.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increased use of whitegoods in South Australian dwellings, notably air conditioners (62% to 85%), dishwashers (19% to 31%), clothes dryers (49% to 52%) and washing machines (95% to 97%). Computer uptake also increased from 43% in 1999 to 65% in 2005.
  • Slightly over one-quarter of households (26%) in South Australia were aware of green power schemes in 2005, an increase from 17% in 2002 and 11% in 1999. About 21% of South Australian households not connected to a green power scheme were willing to support a scheme by paying extra for electricity generated from green power.

Western Australian highlights

Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • Nearly two-thirds of dwellings (66%) in Western Australia had insulation in 2005, compared to the national average of 61%. The proportion of insulated dwellings in Western Australia increased from 52% in 1994.
  • About 57% of households in Western Australia used fluorescent lights and 32% used other energy-saving lights.
  • About 55% of Western Australian households applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, compared to the Australian average of 48%.
  • About 17% of households in Western Australia used solar energy in their homes, the second highest level in Australia after the Northern Territory and three times the national average of 5%.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increased use of whitegoods in Western Australia dwellings, notably air conditioners (36% to 70%), dishwashers (17% to 34%), clothes dryers (41% to 48%) and washing machines (95% to 97%). Computer uptake also increased from 47% in 1999 to 70% in 2005.
  • Close to a fifth (19%) of Western Australian households were aware of green power schemes in 2005, an increase from 12% in 2002. About 29% of households that were not connected to a green power scheme in Western Australia said they were willing to support a scheme by paying extra for electricity generated from green power, the highest among the NGPAP (National Green Power Accreditation Program) participating states and territories.


Tasmanian highlights

Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • Three-quarters of Tasmanian dwellings (75%) had insulation in 2005, well above the national average of 61%, and significantly higher than the 1994 level (63%).
  • About 48% of households in Tasmania used fluorescent lights and 30% used other energy-saving lights, slightly lower than the national average of 57% and 33%, respectively. However the use of both types of lights has increased considerably between 2002 and 2005 - from 42% to 48% for fluorescent lights, and from 16% to 30% for other energy-saving lights.
  • About a third of households (35%) in Tasmania applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, well below the Australian average of 48%. The most popular measure applied was box pelmets (20%).
  • Solar energy was used in few Tasmanian households (2%). Wood was used by 46% of Tasmanian households, the highest level of wood use in Australia.
  • Close to a fifth of households (19%) in Tasmania used off-peak electricity to heat water, significantly higher than the 2002 level of 9%.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increased use of whitegoods in Tasmanian dwellings, notably air conditioners (2% to 20%) and dishwashers (19% to 32%). Clothes dryers and washing machines showed negligible change. Computer uptake increased from 35% in 1999 to 64% in 2005.

Northern Territory highlights

Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • Nearly half of dwellings (49%) in Northern Territory had insulation in 2005, an increase from 44% in 1994. Just over a third of households (34%) did not know if their dwelling had insulation, the highest level nationally.
  • About 84% of households in Northern Territory used fluorescent lights - the highest level nationally and well above the national average of 57%. About 30% used other energy-saving lights, an increase from 20% in 2002.
  • Two-fifths (41%) of households in Northern Territory applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, significantly lower than the Australian average of 48%. Louvre windows was the most popular window treatment used in the Northern Territory.
  • About 44% of households in Northern Territory used solar energy, the highest usage level in Australia. The national average was only 5%.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increased use of whitegoods in Northern Territory dwellings, notably air conditioners (76% to 92%), dishwashers (15% to 29%), clothes dryers (23% to 36%) and washing machines (88% to 97%). Computer uptake also increased from 45% in 1999 to 69% in 2005.


Australian Capital Territory highlights

Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices
  • Almost eight in ten dwellings (79%) in the Australian Capital Territory had insulation in 2005, well above the national level of 60%.
  • Fluorescent lights were used by 46% of Australian Capital Territory households, while other energy-saving lights were used by 35% of households. Use of other energy-saving lights in the territory has increased substantially from 26% in 2002.
  • About 45% of households in the Australian Capital Territory applied at least one measure to regulate heat through windows, slightly lower than the Australian average of 48%.
  • Off-peak electricity was used by 22% of households in the Australian Capital Territory compared to 34% nationally.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, there was an increased use of whitegoods in Australian Capital Territory dwellings, notably air conditioners (17% to 48%), dishwashers (38% to 56%), clothes dryers (54% to 59%) and washing machines (97% to 98%). Computer uptake also increased from 62% in 1999 to 79% in 2005.
  • In 2005, the Australian Capital Territory, as in 1999 and 2002, had the highest proportion (49%) of households aware of a green power scheme. Around 23% of households that were not connected to a green power scheme said they were willing to support the scheme by paying extra for electricity generated by green power.


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