The type of energy used in the home has considerable implications for the environment. Energy consumption in the residential sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Australia due to the heavy reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal, to produce electricity. The Australian trend has been toward increasing reliance on coal for electricity generation (Garnaut 2008).
Residential energy consumption rose from 377 petajoules in 1996-97 (ABARE 2000) to 440 petajoules in 2006-07 (ABARE 2008). Population increase, larger dwelling sizes and more appliances and IT equipment per household have contributed to this increase. However, average energy consumption per Australian household has remained relatively constant since 1990 (DEWHA 2008).