4621.1 - Domestic Water and Energy Use, New South Wales, Oct 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/05/2007  First Issue
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May 10, 2007
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)

NSW electricity use high while solar lagging: ABS

A survey of water and energy use in NSW households showed that electricity was the most common energy source for heating while solar energy was not so popular, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Heating and cooling
Electricity was used for home heating in over half of all NSW households, split equally between reverse cycle air conditioning and other forms of electric heating. One in four households used gas heating and one in ten used wood heating, mostly outside Sydney.

Air-conditioning was used to cool homes in half of NSW households. Outside of Sydney, 30% of households used fans and less than 5% used evaporative cooling.

Hot water systems
Off-peak electricity was used for hot water systems by over 40% of households in NSW. Usage was higher in households outside of Sydney at 60% compared to one third of households in Sydney. Over half of all households in separate houses used off-peak electricity, compared to one in six households (16%) in flats, units and apartments.

Gas hot water systems were used by one quarter of NSW households, with usage higher in Sydney (at one third) and lower outside Sydney at 15%.

Solar energy was used for hot water systems by less than 3% of households in NSW. There was a higher uptake in areas outside Sydney at 4%, compared to only 2% of Sydney households.

Clothes Drying and Washing
Electric clothes dryers were used once per week by almost 30% of NSW households, one in three (33%) Sydney households and one in five households (22%) in the remainder of NSW. Almost half of all households living in flats, units or apartments used their electric clothes dryer weekly, compared to only one quarter of households living in separate houses. One in seven (14%) NSW households with an electric clothes dryer, reported never using it. Where households had access to an outdoor clothes line most used it.

Cold water was used for the majority of washing machine loads in 70% of NSW households. This was higher in areas outside Sydney where three quarters of households use cold water for washing.

About 80% of NSW households use top loading washing machines while less than 15% of NSW households use front loading washing machines. Similar proportions were reported outside of Sydney.

There were an estimated 2,666,800 households surveyed in NSW comprising of 1,636,200 in Sydney and 1,030,600 outside of Sydney.