This chapter explores the use of white goods, televisions, hot water systems and air conditioners for cooling by Victorian households.
The National Framework for Energy Efficiency aims to assist the market in supplying energy efficient technologies and processes (DRET 2010).
The Victorian Government's strategy to mitigate energy use, from the Energy Efficiency for Victoria Action Plan, is to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of energy use, as well encouraging use of more energy efficient household appliances, reducing the amount of energy required to deliver a given energy service and reducing growth in demand for energy services. The Victorian energy efficiency target scheme offers incentives to buyers looking to purchase water heating products, space heating products, window replacement products and refrigerators and freezers.
In 2009, 68% of Victorians agreed there was a link between climate change and the energy they used at home and 75% were willing to sacrifice home comforts to save energy. The majority did not find it difficult to change their habits to become more environmentally friendly and felt it was worth doing something to help the environment even if others didn't (Sustainability Victoria 2009).
Victorian stationary energy consumption has increased by 20% from 1990 to 2004 and if additional energy efficiency measures are not adopted, it is expected to increase by 1.4% per year from 2006 to 2015 (NIEIR 2005).
In 2004, households accounted for just over a third of the greenhouse emissions from Victoria's stationary energy sector. Energy consumption in the residential sector is growing and increased by 33% from 1990 to 2004 (DSE 2006). Appliances, heating and cooling and hot water constitute the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions from Victorian households' energy use, as seen in figure 3.1.
The majority of Victoria's electricity comes from power generators in the Latrobe Valley. Other electricity supply comes from gas-fired generators and from renewable energy sources including hydro-electric, wind power, solar and biomass. Victoria's brown coal reserves will meet Victoria's demand for electricity (at current rates) for several hundred years. Victoria has the highest rate of access to natural gas in Australia, with mains gas available in most Victorian cities and large towns. Known Victorian natural gas reserves will meet demand for at least the next 15 to 30 years (DPI 2010).
DPI (Victorian Government Department of Primary Industries) 2010, Energy Industries, <http://new.dpi.vic.gov.au/energy/about-energy/energy-industries> last viewed 2 June 2010.
DRET (Department of Resources Energy and Tourism) 2010, ‘What is the National Framework for Energy Efficiency?’, Department of Resources Energy and Tourism, <http://www.ret.gov.au/Documents/mce/energy-eff/nfee/about/default.html> last viewed 16 June 2010.
DSE (Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment) 2006, Energy Efficiency for Victoria Action Plan, The State of Victoria, Melbourne.
NIEIR (National Institute for Economic and Industry Research) 2005, Energy Working Party Conference, December.
Sustainability Victoria 2009, 2009 Green Light Report, The State of Victoria, Melbourne.