Bad domestic energy habits are costly EnergyAustralia finds


Paul Myors,
Energy Efficiency
Sydney, Australia — (METERING.COM) — June 11, 2008 – Bad habits with domestic appliances could be adding millions of dollars to household electricity bills and pushing up greenhouse gas emissions by several million tonnes, a new study by Australian utility EnergyAustralia has found.

Based on a survey of 500 people across Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter, EnergyAustralia estimates that practices such as running dishwashers before they are full, leaving second fridges plugged in year-round and leaving computers on when not in use could be adding up to $120 (US$114) to household electricity bills annually and increasing their CO2 emissions by almost one tonne.

Projected over New South Wales this could add up to as much as $300 million (US$284 million) on state electricity bills annually and increased CO2 emissions of 2.5 million tonnes – the equivalent of an extra 500,000 cars on the road.

EnergyAustralia found that more than a quarter of people always leave their computer on when not in use and almost half sometimes leave it on. More than a quarter also leave lights on all evening rather than switching them off when they leave the room and around three quarters are still using incandescent globes, and more than a quarter run their dishwashers partially full.

The study also found that while most people had taken some steps to use less energy, particularly by taking shorter showers and installing low flow shower heads, the majority also cooled their homes below the recommended range in summer (23-26 C) and over heated their homes in winter (recommended 18-21 C).

“Our bad habits in the home are literally costing the Earth,” says EnergyAustralia’s energy efficiency expert Paul Myors. “Bad habits with appliances waste energy and waste money and like most bad habits, they should be broken. The good news is that changing your family’s domestic routine is free, easy and doesn’t affect your lifestyle.”

To help remind people to be energy efficient, EnergyAustralia is giving away 280,000 sheets of reusable stickers featuring energy saving tips to place around the home.