To reduce energy use, you first need to know where it is used in your home - understanding it at a high level or getting right down to specific appliances.
There aren’t any specific studies of energy use in apartments that we’ve been able to find, but those for houses are still a good guide to understand where your energy (and money) are going.
- Typical household energy consumption - Nationally
- Typical household electricity consumption - NSW
- Energy Usage Calculators
- Take your own measurements
- How do you compare to others
Typical household energy consumption - Nationally
The Residential Energy Baseline Study: Australia, August 2015 gives a national breakdown of average household energy use from all fuel sources (electricity, LPG, natural gas and wood):
Space conditioning i.e. heating & cooling is the dominant end-use, followed by water heating and appliances.
Standby power accounts for 6% of average electricity use.
Percentages differ by state/climate and fuel type, as highlighted in the following graph:
There are marked differences in the percentages for heating and cooling in different areas of Australia and in some places the average Australian home uses 40% of its energy on heating and cooling.
Typical household electricity consumption - NSW
NSW Trade & Investment has published this chart of annual average electricity use in a typical NSW household.
Energy Usage CalculatorsThere are a number of energy usage calculators to help you get a better idea on the impact of individual appliances:
- Switch On Appliance Calculator lets you check how much your major appliances cost to run and compare them against more energy-efficient alternatives
- Small Appliances Calculator estimates running costs of small electrical appliances
- Hot Water Calculator estimates the running costs of your current hot water system and compares it to other systems
Take your own measurements
There are a number of inexpensive options for you to take exact measurements of the power your appliances use.
Save Power kits
How do you compare to others
Comparisons on your electricity bill
If you live in NSW, SA, TAS, the ACT or QLD, your retailer must show on your bill how much energy your house used, and how much other houses in your area used. This is usually in a graph or table on your bill.
Comparisons with households in your area
You can also use Energy Made Easy’s electricity usage calculator to see if you use more or less energy than other similar households in your area.
Even though the calculator is not specifically targeted at apartment residents and doesn’t recognise some potential unique differences from houses (e.g. your building may have a centralised gas hot water system, but no gas connections to individual apartments) it’s still a good guide. Here an example comparison for a very high-density suburb:
Comparisons with similar households
With Switch On’s household electricity calculator you enter some simple details about your electricity use and your quarterly kWh usage (from your electricity bill) to compare yourself against similar households