NSW households are changing how they use
their electricity. Since 2007 the average electricity used per person has
fallen by almost 1 per cent each year. Energy efficiency, increased
electricity costs and the effects of the Global Financial Crisis are some of
the broad drivers, but exactly how and why people’s behaviour is changing is
not yet clear.
needs to understand electricity consumption patterns to make decisions about
when and where changes to the transmission network are needed. In 2013 we
engaged Capitalis, a research company, to take a closer look at NSW households’
electricity consumption behaviour and attitudes. Capitalis surveyed a
representative sample of NSW households – over 1,200 in total – and have now
delivered some fascinating insights. Below are some key outcomes.
Strong focus on the
All electricity should be generated from
renewable sources like solar and wind power, said almost two thirds of survey
respondents. Women may be more likely than men to feel personally responsible
for using energy from clean, renewable resources, as 52% of female respondents
felt this way compared to 40% of male respondents.
Electricity reliability is vital
Unsurprisingly, 95% of respondents said that
reliability of the electricity supply is vital. In fact, 80% of respondents
consider that it is the government’s responsibility to make sure that
electricity supply matches electricity demanded. Of particular interest was the
breakdown between respondents – households made up of older couples or singles
tended to value reliability more than young families or younger people.
Households prefer low-cost and
easy electricity savings measures
Around 70% of respondents had looked for ways
to reduce their bills in the past 12 months. Households generally opted for
energy saving measures that didn’t need much initial financial investment and did
not cause inconvenience. For example, of the households that had tried to
reduce energy consumption, 95% had switched off lights in unused rooms, 84% had
used energy-saving light bulbs, and 75% had hung their laundry out on the line
instead of using their dryer.
By comparison, measures that have greater
energy savings but higher upfront cost or inconvenience were less likely to be
implemented. These measures include installing solar hot water systems,
installing double-glazed windows, or reducing the number of hours per day that
a pool pump is operated.
respondents had particular reasons why they didn’t feel they could implement
electricity saving measures. For example, 12% of respondents said that being
renters rather than home owners inhibited them, as most high-involvement energy
saving measures require modifications to a building, for example installing
double-glazed windows to reduce heating and cooling costs.
Where to from here
challenge now is for TransGrid to incorporate these findings into how we make
our network planning decisions and how we interact with electricity consumers.
Related DocumentsNSW Electricity Consumption Survey Results July-August 2013Electricity Consumption Survey Results July-August_2013