4602.0.55.001 - Environmental Issues: Energy Use and Conservation, Mar 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/11/2008  First Issue
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  • The majority of households (77%) resided in separate houses in 2008. Of these separate houses, 37% comprised four or more bedrooms.
  • There has been an increase in the use of insulation in homes, up from 52% of dwellings in 1994 to 61% in 2008. The main reason for having insulation was to improve comfort (given by 83% of households installing insulation). Only a small proportion (4%) of households reported that they had installed insulation in order to save energy. The main reason for not installing insulation was that the household was not responsible for insulation (34%), i.e. that they were renting their dwelling.
  • Electricity was the main source of energy in 2008, used by nearly every household (99.9%). It was the main source for ovens (75%) and for cooktops (56%). Electricity was also the most commonly used energy source for hot water systems (46%) and space heating (35%).
  • Solar energy use has increased from 5% in 2002 to 8% in 2008. It was used primarily for heating water. In the Northern Territory and Western Australia, 54% and 21% of households respectively, had solar hot water.
  • The use of off-peak electricity in hot water systems increased from 30% in 2002 to 35% in 2008. Queensland recorded the highest proportion of households using off-peak electricity for hot water systems (49%) in 2008. Tasmania had the most substantial increase since 2002, from 8% up to 32% in 2008.
  • In 2008, more than three-quarters of Australian households (77%) had a heater, two-thirds (67%) had a cooler, more than half (56%) had a clothes dryer and more than one-third (38%) had a laptop computer. Most Australian households (60%) had a desktop computer.
  • There was a substantial increase in the number of households with coolers (air conditioners and evaporative coolers) from 32% of dwellings in 1994 to 67% in 2008. Reverse cycle/heat pump has been the most popular system of cooling since 1994.
  • Over half of households with normal picture tube televisions had two or more of this type of television (57%). Almost one-fifth of households with LCD televisions (19%) had two or more LCD TVs.
  • Water and energy efficiency were the main factors considered by Australian households when replacing or buying white good appliances. Energy star rating ranked first over cost when replacing/buying a refrigerator (50%), separate freezer (46%) and clothes dryer (45%). Energy star rating was ranked first over water efficiency rating for a dishwasher (48%), but water efficiency rating was ranked first over energy star rating for a washing machine (49%). Cost was considered most important when buying/replacing a heater (40%).
  • Nearly three-quarters of Australian households used cold water (74%) rather than warm water (17%) in washing machines (the remainder used hot water or varied the temperature). This was an increase in cold water use from 61% in 1994.
  • More than half of all households (52%) were aware of GreenPower in 2008 (including 5% already paying for GreenPower). This was a large increase compared with 2005 and 1999 when 29% and 19% respectively were aware of GreenPower. One-third (32%) of households that were aware of GreenPower were willing to support the scheme in 2008, up from 23% in 2005.

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