This pie chart shows us the breakdown of energy use in a typical Australian home. The biggest piece of the pie by a long shot is heating and cooling. Tackling your heating and cooling will have a much greater impact on the size of your energy bills than, say, working hard to reduce stand-by power. Heating water is the next biggest piece and if you have an electric hot water storage system of 125 litres or more, you are entitled to the off-peak tariff – roughly half the price of the peak tariff.
Of course every Australian home is different and many factors will determine the make-up of this pie for each household. These may include the:
- size and construction of the house (insulation, orientation, roof pitch and well-designed eaves, shading, etc…)
- number of people in the house
- age and number of energy appliances (generally the older the appliance, the less energy efficient it is)
- pattern of energy use in the home (e.g. working families out all day, pensioner couple home most of the time)
- household members attitudes and behaviours regarding energy use (how frugal, careful or informed are they?)
Our energy use, we discover, is personal and variable and can make a big difference to the bills we receive at the end of every quarter.