I recently gave a talk at the Caboolture Library outlining a major tip on how households could statistically reduce their electricity bills by about 10%.

I always say statistically speaking because there actually is no average household.

There is no average household because every household has different members with different requirements.

In addition to that, households in Australia are located in one of eight recognized climate zones which are further divided into another 69 climate zones, each with a variety of factors that will effect whether a family member will require energy for heating or cooling at any time throughout the year.

The climate zone in which a home is located is a big factor in how much energy may be required throughout seasons but statistically represents about 40% of a household’s electricity bill.

In addition to that, there’s the topography of the area that needs to be taken into account, the aspect of the block, that is, in which direction does the land face and then there is the thermal characteristics determined by the orientation of the building on that land. Other factors include what building materials were used, whether the home is surrounded by trees or is there a three storey block of units next door.

I took the time to explain the benefits of living in a thermally efficient home, outlining the two main advantages which include the thermal comfort and the financial benefits. One of the financial benefits of a thermally stable home is that the building requires less heating or cooling throughout the seasons but of course how much is at the discretion of the occupiers.

Statistically speaking, seasonally heating or cooling an Australian home represents about 40% of a home’s electricity bill and translates to roughly about $800 a year but figures from the ACT show that some poorly designed home’s frequently use an additional $3000 more per year for heating or cooling than that a home with an increased EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) may require.

This is one example of how the statistics based on averages do not necessarily reflect what’s happening in the real world. That additional $3000 more per year that an occupant may use in a home located in a climate with extreme temperature fluctuations is statistically close to 400% more that the “average” home would even use for this purpose in total. The statistics of a such a home’s bill is not even in the “ball park” of the claim that 40% of the average home’s bill is on regulating the home’s ambient temperature. Not all homes are average. I would wager that few are.

For any accuracy, apples should always be compared with apples. When I use a general estimate of an Australian home’s electricity consumption I tend to generalise and round up or down for mathematical convenience. I may say that a family’s electricity bill is around $2000 but statistically speaking it may be from $1680 to $2093 depending on which state you are in and which demographic group has been surveyed.

Single home occupancies can statistically have electricity bills from below $200 a quarter to around $1400 but a family would rarely have a bill of less than $200 unless their energy consumption was subsidised by solar panels or an extension lead from their neighbour’s house.

Generally speaking the older the members of a household are, the less electricity is
consumed, but that is not always the case. >>>LEARN MORE>>>

“Ball park” figures that suggest that the average Australian household uses 38 000 kWh to 46 000 kWh per year are just “ball park” figures and cannot take into account the plethora of factors that make up the “average Australian’s” quarterly electricity bill.

One thing I have seen to be consistently reliable is that is that regardless of the size, location or demographic positioning of a family, they can generally find a number of ways to significantly reduce their electricity expenditure without having to look too hard.

John Lynn