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1. Overview

Household electricity and energy efficiency

Introduction

Our modern lifestyle needs energy. As the world’s energy demand unwaveringly increases, energy consumption is set to grow in the future. Now more than ever, there is a need for sustainable, efficient and clean energy.

Already, trends are changing. As the economy opens itself up to cleaner sources of energy, users and consumers are becoming more aware of their environmental impact, and turning to greener alternatives. One way to do this is to be more energy efficient at the place where we are most familiar - at home.

What is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency is being able to provide your house with the same needs and level of comfort but with lower overall electricity consumption. You can achieve this through changing habits, recognizing and fixing inefficiencies in the home or through more efficient technology. While using less energy, you also reduce your environmental impact and save on your next electricity bill.

Why energy efficiency?

Being energy efficient provides layers of benefits. Not only do you reduce your impact on the environment, but you also accumulate financial savings on energy that you save.

According to the World Energy Council, Australia’s household electricity consumption was 6.84 GWh during 2014 - around double the global average, making it one of the top electricity consumers. Despite some decline in overall household energy consumption, energy prices increased 61% between 2008 and 2014 2(Australian Bureau of statistics) – not a reflection of this usage trend at all.

Here's a breakdown of how energy is used in the average Australian home. It has been shown that for most households, the majority of energy consumption is devoted to heating/cooling the home, followed by water heating (discussed below).

By making changes to your household, you ensure that you are reducing your carbon footprint and reducing your environmental impact, all while saving you money in the short and long run.

Getting started: About this guide

There are many aspects to household energy efficiency, ranging from simply switching off appliances to reduce electricity use - to going offgrid with solar panels and a battery system. A good way to start your energy efficiency journey is to have a think about what your goals are and what you are capable carrying out with time, budget and convenience limitations in mind.

This guide is intended to help you understand the basics of household energy by identifying the different causes for high energy consumption in your home, and providing some tips on how to tackle them. It also contains information about how to further improve financial savings and energy independence with solar, batteries and home automation devices.

The guide broken down into major areas of energy consumption in the household. You can read through front-to-back, or go directly to the section that seems the most relevant to you. Our aim is for you to come away feeling well-informed and confident about taking action to reduce your energy bills and environmental impact.

A blue graph showing 36% heating and cooling, 24% water heating, 13% other appliances and 7% fridges and freezers, other segments of small amounts include lighting, cooking, television, and fridges and freezers.

In the next chapter, we’ll run through how to understand your electricity bill.

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