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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Despite its low contribution to total household energy consumption, cooling attracts considerable interest because energy consumption for cooling has grown rapidly and this is forecast to continue. Modelling shows a fourfold increase in energy consumption for electric space cooling, up from 3 petajoules in 1990 to 12.5 petajoules in 2008. All cooling uses electricity which has implications for greenhouse gas emissions and the demand on the electricity grid on peak summer days (DEWHA 2008b).

Two-thirds (66%) of dwellings in Australia used some form of cooling (i.e. air conditioner or evaporative cooler) in 2008, up from 59% in 2005 and 35% in 1999 (graph 4.4 and table 4.11). In the Northern Territory, more than nine in ten dwellings (93%) used a cooler in 2008.

4.4 DWELLINGS WITH COOLER, Number of units in use - 2008
Graph: 4.4 DWELLINGS WITH COOLER, Number of units in use—2008

Since 1994, the most popular system of cooling in Australia has been reverse cycle/heat pump air conditioning (61% in 2008, up from 57% in 2005 and 50% in 1994) (graph 4.5 and table 4.12). In every state and territory except the Australian Capital Territory, the proportion of dwellings mainly using reverse cycle/heat pump cooling has increased by more than ten percentage points between 1999 and 2008. However, in the Northern Territory, the refrigerated system (59%) was the main system of cooling in 2008, although this has declined from 77% in 1999.

4.5 Main cooler in dwelling, System of cooling
Graph: 4.5 Main cooler in dwelling, System of cooling

There was a substantial increase in the proportion of dwellings with split system coolers as their main cooling system, from 18% in 2002 to 30% in 2005 to 40% in 2008. Increases were seen in every state and territory, in particular in Queensland (from 47% in 2005 to 59% in 2008) and New South Wales (30% in 2005 to 40% in 2008) (table 4.13). Ducted coolers were more common in South Australia (45%), Western Australia (43%) and the Australian Capital Territory (39%).

Not surprisingly, the Northern Territory used coolers for a longer period compared with other regions of Australia (graph 4.6 and table 4.14). In the Northern Territory, more than a third (35%) of households used their coolers for 6 months or more in a year, whereas more than half the households in Tasmania (55%) used their coolers for less than one month in the year.

4.6 Dwellings with Cooler, Number of months used - 2008
Graph: 4.6 Dwellings with Cooler, Number of months used—2008

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