Household electricity use continues to decline

26 November 2013 — A new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that households are decreasing their electricity use, with a 12 per cent fall over the past three years.

And total electricity use per household had fallen by a sizeable 23 per cent since the 2002-03 year, the report found.

And while overall energy use by households had increased 12 per cent over the past decade – thanks to a growing population – per capita it was not such a bad story, with a decrease of six per cent in energy, including natural gas, petrol, diesel, LPG, solar, wood and wood waste.

The Green Building Council of Australia said the increase in overall energy consumption needed to be addressed, however.

“We cannot continue to increase our energy consumption and expand our population without expecting severe consequences for our environment,” GBCA chief operating officer Robin Mellon said in response to the report.

The report also found that energy costs had risen significantly.

Since 2008-09, “total household energy expenditure on all forms of energy including natural gas, petrol, diesel, LPG, solar, wood and wood waste has gone up by nearly 60 per cent”, said the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Mark Lound.

Solar was a standout performer in the renewables sector.

“Renewable energy remains at two per cent of domestic energy production in total, but solar’s contribution increased by just over 20 per cent between 2010-11 and 2011-12,” said Mr Lound.

The figures are part of the ABS energy accounts program, a component of the environmental-economic accounting framework feeding into the National Accounts.

The main findings can be seen at the ABS website.