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While the previous section showed the direct use of energy by industries and households, this section looks at the amount of energy used, both directly and indirectly, by the final users of the goods and services. These final users may not necessarily use energy directly, but they are considered to be using energy indirectly through their consumption of products (goods and services) that contain embedded energy (i.e. the energy used in production).
Households as direct and indirect consumers of energy
In 1994-95, the use of petroleum products - mainly motor vehicle fuels - was the biggest contributor to household consumption of energy (25% of total household consumption of energy), followed by household electricity use (21%), and various other sources of direct energy consumption by households (11%). Approximately two-thirds of household electricity use is attributed to conversion losses in the production of this electricity (mainly from coal). Indirect consumption of energy through the consumption of (non-energy) goods and services made up about 43% of total household energy use. The largest of these indirect sources was household consumption of wholesale and retail goods and services and of repairs (9%). Main products contributing to final household consumption of energy are shown in graph 15.17.
Relative to its gross domestic product (GDP) Australia has a very high level of motorisation, and a high level of total personal travel. Other than the North Americans, only Italians are more motorised than Australians (OECD/IEA 2001). Per capita road transport use in Australia increased 10% from 1990-91 to 1998-99 (see table 15.21). Table 15.18 shows that the number of persons driving to work or study in Australia increased by 9% between 1996 and 2000. Some 76% of adults aged 18 years and above drove to work or study in 2000.
Household electricity use was the other major contributor to energy consumption attributed to households. The 1970s and 1980s saw significant increase in the level of indoor comfort and amenities in Australian homes for space comfort, water heating and electric appliances. Natural gas and electricity are the key sources of space heating (table 15.19). In 1999 natural gas was the main heating source for 41% of residences that had space heating (up from 38% in 1994); electricity provided 35% and wood most of the remainder. Over the period, electricity lost share to gas. As comfort standards have increased, whole house heating rather than 'spot' heating increased and pipeline gas became more widely available (OECD/IEA 2001). Electricity is the major source of energy for both water (about 60% in 1999) and cooking (about 59%).
Energy consumed in the production of exports
Of the 29% of total energy consumed in the production of goods and services for export, a third is attributed to basic non-ferrous metals and metal products. Basic non-ferrous metals and products include products from alumina production, aluminium smelting and aluminium product manufacturing. These activities consume large amounts of electricity in their production. Energy consumed in the production of export products in 1994-95 is shown in graph 15.20.