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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Aerated concrete

A low density concrete made of portland cement, cement-silica, cement-pozzolan, lime-pozzolan, lime-silica paste or a combination of these materials. The concrete has a homogeneous cell structure, visible to the eye. Also called cellular concrete. Not to be confused with air-entrained concrete, in which air bubbles are microscopic in size.

Air conditioner

An apparatus for controlling the temperature of an enclosed space. It can be portable or fixed into the structure of the dwelling, usually in the wall or ceiling.

Any responsible adult

Any person 15 years or over, a usual resident of the dwelling and whose next birthday was closest to the date of the interview responding on behalf of the selected person or household.

Bottled gas

Gas provided in a large bottle or canister which is located near the house. A gas retailer may remove empty canisters and replace them with new ones.

Brick Veneer

Brick veneer walls consist of a single external layer of brickwork, with a lined stud frame inside.

Compact Fluorescent Lights/Lamps (CFL)

Compact fluorescent lights/lamps (CFLs) are fluorescent tubes shaped to fit an ordinary light fitting. They save energy by reducing the wattage needed in a light fitting while producing the same amount of light. They use a gas discharge process, rather than the heating of a filament; this reduces energy lost by heat. CFLs contain a small of amount of mercury, which poses an environmental hazard when released by crushing or breaking the light bulb. A lack of special disposal facilities for CFLs could see them end up in large numbers in landfills, releasing mercury into the environment.

Double brick

An inner and outer wall constructed of brick which are separated by a small air cavity. Double brick walls heat up/cool down slowly and stay warm/cool for long periods.

Double glazing

Two panes of glass in a window with air space between the panes.

Ducted air conditioner

A ducted air conditioner is one where air is piped from a single source through the dwelling to more than one outlet.


A suite of rooms contained within a building which are self-contained and intended for long-term residential use. To be self-contained, the suite of rooms must possess cooking and bathing facilities as building fixtures. Examples of types of dwelling include: separate house; semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse; flat, unit or apartment; and other dwellings, including caravan, cabin, houseboat, and house or flat attached to a shop.

Evaporative air conditioner

An air conditioner that draws outdoor air through a water filtration system whereby some heat from the air is absorbed through water evaporation. The air is cooled and filtered as it passes through moistened pads.

Fibro Cement

Building material made of compressed fibres cemented into rigid sheets.

Flat, unit or apartment

All dwellings in blocks of flats, units or apartments. These dwellings usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category also includes flats attached to houses such as granny flats, and houses converted into two or more flats.

Gas ducted system

Ducted systems consist of heat piped through the dwelling to more than one outlet from a single heat source (e.g. a gas furnace).

Gas heater

Includes heaters that use gas for heating, but may need electricity to ignite or start the appliance.


GreenPower is a national accreditation program for renewable electricity products sourced from solar, wind or hydro power.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gases are gaseous compounds in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and methane, which heat the earth by trapping heat from the sun in the atmosphere through the “greenhouse effect.” Emissions are the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.


Halogen lamps are an improved form of incandescent lamp. Halogen lamps tend to focus the light and are best used in task lighting, such as over a cooking area. The light bulb uses a halogen gas, usually iodine or bromine, that causes the evaporating tungsten to be redeposited on the filament, thus prolonging its life.

Insulated cladding

Cladding which is a protective, insulated or aesthetic fixed layer added to the exterior walls of a building.


LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is display technology that uses rod-shaped molecules (liquid crystals) that flow like liquid and bend light.


LED (Light Emitting Diode) is a semiconductor light source that emits visible light or invisible infrared radiation.


LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) (also called LP Gas, or autogas) is the generic name for mixtures of hydrocarbon (mainly propane and butane). It is used as a fuel in heating appliances and vehicles, and increasingly replacing chlorofluorocarbons as an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant to reduce damage to the ozone layer.

Mains gas

Gas connected to the household by underground pipes and provided on a continuous basis by an energy company.

Off-peak electricity

Supply of electricity at periods of time of less activity than at peak times. Hot water systems that use off-peak electricity are set to operate only during an off-peak period, normally during the night.


A structural material often used for sub flooring. It is made from wood fragments that are mechanically pressed into a sheet and bonded with resin.

Plasma television

Flat-panel display technology that ignites small pockets of gas to light phosphors.

Portable air conditioner

A portable air conditioner is one which may be moved around the dwelling.

Private dwelling

A dwelling that is intended to have people live in it (e.g. house, flat, unit, caravan, houseboat, tent, etc.).


A device that projects images onto a screen.

Reverse brick veneer

Puts the brickwork on the inside and timber framing on the outside in order to capture heat from the sun during the day, which is released at night to warm the dwelling.

Reverse cycle air conditioner

A reverse cycle air conditioner may also be used as a heater. The temperature is able to be varied between warm and cool settings.

Solar hot water system

Includes solar hot water systems that have boosters to heat water during periods of rain or overcast conditions, and when heavy demand exhausts the hot water supply before it can be reheated by the sun.

Solar - Photovoltaic

Photovoltaics, or PV for short, is a technology that uses solar cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic systems are different to solar hot water systems, which absorb sunlight directly into the water-carrying tubes contained in the panel.

Special dwelling

An establishment that provides predominantly short-term accommodation for communal or group living and often provides common eating facilities (e.g. hotels, motels, hospitals, prisons, short-stay caravan parks, etc.). Persons living in special dwellings were excluded from the scope of this survey.

Split system air conditioner

A split system air conditioner is separated (but still connected by pipes or ducts) into a main unit that houses the compressor, and one or more outlets. The main unit is usually located outside the dwelling.

Storage hot water system

A storage/tank hot water system heats water and stores it in a tank until it is needed.

Surround sound system for home theatre

A sound system designed to place the listener in the centre of the sound.

Usual residents

Persons who usually live in a particular private dwelling and regard it as their own or main home. Excludes usual residents who were away from the dwelling for more than six weeks altogether and visitors to the dwelling who do not usually live there, do not regard it as their own or main home, but are temporarily staying there.