Media Releases | 20th Jan, 2004

Victorian homes on a power trip

Wednesday, 21 January 2004

The average Victorian family wastes up to $570 a year on power and water bills, a new study has found.
But this waste – almost half the average annual energy budget of $1300 – could be saved with little effort or cost, the Environment Victoria study said.

Some of the main areas of waste include:

  • washing clothes in hot water, which uses $75 more than washing in cold;
  • using standby power on televisions and stereos, which loses $35 annually;
  • using non-efficient light globes, which costs about an extra $60 a year.

By using energy more wisely significant cash savings could be made, said EV Sustainable Living Project Officer Michele Burton.

“This study reveals Victorian families are needlessly throwing money away by wasting energy on a huge scale,” said Ms Burton.

“The waste can easily be avoided through simple measures including cooking efficiently – such as using a fan-forced oven rather than a conventional one – dressing appropriately for weather conditions and not heating or cooling unoccupied rooms.

“This waste is not only impacting the family budget, it’s also environmentally irresponsible.”

She said three tonnes of greenhouse gases could be saved yearly through energy efficiency.

“The cheapest, cleanest and safest way of addressing all our greenhouse concerns is to use less energy.”

The study also found: showering with a AAA water efficient shower head saves $47 (a year); installing efficient ceiling insulation saves $150; replacing electric hot water systems, stoves and heaters with gas saves $83; buying an energy efficient washing machine and refrigerator saves $52; and installing duct and draft sealing saves $65.

“Any costs that come from buying new appliances or upgrading home design will be re-paid from savings in energy and water bills, as well as maintenance bills,” she said.

The study reviewed energy research across the nation and was peer reviewed by a RMIT energy academic. The results of the study will be distributed to families across Victoria in a brochure titled Is your home on a power trip?