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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November 28, 2008

Energy and water efficiency more important than price or brand: ABS

Australian households ranked energy star rating more important than price or brand when buying a refrigerator, freezer or clothes dryer according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Water efficiency rating was ranked first for washing machines, but price was ranked the most important factor in buying a heater.

This is a change since the last survey in 2002, which found that price was the most important factor for the majority of white goods, with energy efficiency overriding price only for dishwashers.

However, comfort rather than energy saving was the reason why nearly all (83%) householders had installed insulation in their homes - only 4% of households said they had installed insulation to save energy.

Continuing the comfort theme, the number of households with air-conditioning or evaporative cooling more than doubled between 1994 and 2008 - from almost a third (32%) to two-thirds (67%).

Some of the other key findings in the survey were:
  • The proportion of households using solar energy increased by 60% between 2002 and 2008 (from 5% to 8%). Most of this is for solar hot water systems.
  • Leading states for solar hot water were the Northern Territory and Western Australia, where it was used by 54% and 21% of households respectively.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Australian households used cold water in washing machines, an increase from 61% in 1994.
  • Almost one in five households with an LCD TV had two or more of this type of TV.
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of Australian households had a heater, two-thirds (67%) had a cooler and more than half (56%) had a clothes dryer.
  • More than half of all Australian households (52%) were GreenPower aware in 2008, including 5% already paying for GreenPower.
  • The ACT had the highest GreenPower awareness (66%) while Queensland and Western Australian had the lowest (38%).

Further information can be found in Environmental Issues: Energy Use and Conservation, (cat. no. 4602.0.55.001).