Jan 08 2010

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Average Household Electricity Consumption

How much electricity does the average Australian household use ?

This is a question that I have seen many times, and there are many different answers.  An average of anything can be a useful figure to work from, when a person is trying to make choices about things, but elect990ricity is one item where you need to work from more information than just a countries average. You may consult a professional like ACE Electrical Contractor to audit and recommend how to reduce your monthly energy bill.

A 2 bedroomed City unit compared to a 5 bedroomed house with swimming pool pumps etc, will give a massive variable.

I personally think that our usage may be about average, but the last time I said that I had comments like, how can your usage be so low AND, how come your usage is so HIGH !

Here is an example of our usage, for the 12 months between 27th May 2008 and 27th May 2009:

8,587 kWh Peak usage
4,441 kWh Off Peak Usage

This is a total of 13,028 kWhs per year, (35.7 kWh per day) compared to the Australian national average Electricity consumption of 6,570 kWhs per year (18 kWh per day).

This includes a child that leaves lights on all the time, two computers running, often at the same time as two televisions, and a swimming pool with pumps for filteration and heating.  We make little effort to reduce consumption, other than using low wattage light bulbs.  Having now looked at those figures, maybe we should try a bit harder… But, we rarely need to use the air conditioning, as our area, even though in Queensland, does not get too hot.

I have read that the average Canberra household’s electricity consumption is about 8,000 kWh per year. Possibly due to needing heating on during the winter ?

Personal Household Electricity Costs

I have one of those Electricity usage gadgets, on loan from the local library, that you can use to check annual running costs of electrical products that are plugged into it.

Currently I have the spare fridge/freezer in the garage plugged in, and it is showing, after 12 hours, the annual electricity cost of $205.

I will allow a few days to get a proper average, then try another appliance, and show a list on here of reasonably accurate costings.

Annual Electricity Runnings Costs

  • $205 Fridge Freezer in Garage. (This is a 480 litre frost free, squarish model, about 10-15 years old)
  • $300 Fridge Freezer in Kitchen. (This double door unit is rated at 1240kWh per year, but uses about 1600kWh per year after 3 weeks testing)
  • $ 195 Computer (in use 16 hours per day) / Printer / Broadband Modem / Telephone.
  • $ 45 Home Computer with Printer for normal family use.
  • $ 244 LCD TV, with DVD and PVR in average use and always left on standby.

That’s $989 per year of my total electricity costing.   The home Water heating (Heat Pump), pool pump and pool solar hot water system costs another $320 per year, leaving about another $415 per year for cooking, lights, and various power uses in bedrooms etc.  (all based on my last recent bills)

The annual standby costs were interesting:

  • $ 61 Printer/ Broadband Modem / Telephone all on standby but not used.
  • $ 20 Home Computer with Printer for normal family use.
  • $ 45 LCD TV, with DVD and PVR in average use and always left on standby.

Other posts on this topic:


My own, actual, Annual Electricity Costs 2003 to 2010

Year Cost $ Usage kWh ave $/kWh annual overall kWh unit cost increase
2003 $   854.11 7,511 $0.11371
2004 $1,162.47 9,947 $0.11687 2.77%
2005 $1,246.05 10,360 $0.12028 2.92%
2006 $1,434.89 11,483 $0.12496 3.89%
2007 $1,658.66 12,535 $0.13232 5.89%
2008 $1,946.50 13,410 $0.14516 9.70%
2009 $1,505.72 9,431 $0.15966 9.99%
2010 $1,927.93 10,984 $0.17552 9.94%
2011 $2,263.75 11,791 $0.1920 9.39%

That shows our usage at 32.3 kWh per day in 2011, up from 20 per day in 2003.  The changes from 2003 to 2011 have been:


  • 2 split system Air conditioners
  • Added a swimming pool
  • A teenage daughter growing up
  • 3 TVs instead of 1
  • 3 PC’s instead of 1


2 - 95,317

Permanent link to this article: http://www.abcdiamond.com/australia/average-household-electricity-consumption/

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  1. Cate

    Hi, my friend has a 3 bedroom house with a reverse cycle air conditioner. For the most recent quarter, being winter, she received a bill for $849 with 30,000kw used. They have three fish tanks about the size of a microwave each. They have 2 TVs used for I guess 6 hours each a day. I think that all of their power is electricity. They have no solar and I don’t think they have gas either.

    I can’t understand how their electricity company can claim their AC used that much power. I don’t think its possible. Could I be wrong?

    She’s getting them to check the meter. I suggested putting a bit of paper tape (like painter’s tape) on the electricity box on the underside, so if it is torn or peeled half away, then they checked the meter. If it is still there, and they said they checked the meter, then they lied.

  2. peter

    electric hot water system,
    electric hot plate , stove
    pumps filters for tanks
    Fridge washing machine
    Dryers Cost a fortune to run
    Down lights is the place full of them, expensive to run poor light output and high maintence
    how many people
    how old is the house
    tvs others appliances standby power
    reverse cycle air conditioner what model what is the wattage, you can find that on the compliance label or in the manuals. THey can be very very expensive to run

    it could not be 30,000 kw as that is equal to 322kwh per day for 93 days.
    It must be 3000 kwh or 30,000 watt hours

    Based on 25cent tarrif for each kwh used it adds up to $750 excluding service charges.
    it is high about 32kwh per day for 93 days.

    it sound like they need an energy audit of the house.
    daily household consumption is usally around 15-18 kwhs, but for all elctric houses it would be more.
    take a reading of the meter for a 24 hour period yourself and compare,
    I bet there are lots of simple things that could be done to reduce the consumption.

  3. Becc

    this really helped me when i had to do a 2 minute speech about electricity consumtion/how to save energy.

  4. ian

    We use 10kWh/day on average. We are a family of three running a business from home. I realise we’re low but that’s because the house has been designed to truly utilise passive solar principles. There is no airconditioner but we do use fans. When it’s cold we use this wonderful invention called a jumper. The jumper when combined with socks really keeps you warm. We have a gas cooktop so that obviously makes a difference compared to some of the figures quoted on this page.
    Peter is on the money with his questions. Combining his list with a list on what to do to the house and the human body to avoid having to use the appliances will put the punters way in front.

  5. kurt

    That’s some shocking consumption numbers being thrown around. I must admit I was guilty of same thing before our family moved completely off grid.

    Its amazing how much of the consumption is just wast! Appliance choice and house design play a huge roll. You don’t have to live like cave men and go without all the mod cons. We are a family of three and live in a modern large 350m2 home with all the mod cons. 500lt fridge freezer, dishwasher,40’led tv,surround sound, laptop’s, home theater pc, washing machine, espresso maker, iron all the modern home appliances we have come to love but a lot of thought and research went into choosing the appliances based on there energy consumption ratings.

    The home its self takes advantage of natural light , insulation cross cooling from cross winds and open plan living. Water heating and cooking is from gas but solar hot water is planed for the future.

    i understand climate plays a big role in how much energy you consume but Our average days consumption is 4.5kwr and although we take note of what we consume we just live life as usual and don’t miss out on anything. This even includes some welding and workshop tools in my garage.

    The key is to understand where your energy is going don’t just assume what your appliances consume go and measure it cheap meters can be purchased from electronic store that you simply plug into your wall socket then plug your appliance into the devise. For example our 40′ lcd led tv consumes 58w when running (very efficient) some 40′ plasma style tv’s can consume 300w or more. Same story for refrigerators. Same appliance size and function one model can consume double the energy over another. Take note of the numbers.

  6. ABCDiamond

    In 2008-09 I showed my average daily usage at 35.7 kWh per day, as shown in the above article.

    By being a bit careful, but not over careful, I am now down to 25.2kWh per day, in the first quarter of 2012.

    The Solar panels (1.5kWh system) are responsible for an average of 6.5kWh per day saving (in Summer), so my own efforts are only saving 4.0kWh per day.

    My February 2012 bill was actually down to $459 from the Feb 2011 bill of $606.

    If I can keep that up, then I will be $600 per year better off.

  7. Hayley


    I am writing an article for a monthly report that I do for work and was wondering if I could use your usage examples for my article, using your site as a reference. I was also wondering if you could tell me what state you are in, for comparitive purposes? Thank you for your time.

  8. ABCDiamond

    Always happy for my pages to be shared 🙂
    I am Queensland.

  9. dffafsasd

    “Text removed”
    IP referred to spam database
    Full details to IP owner…. AU Australia 01 Australian Capital Territory Canberra -35.2760 149.1344 Catholic Education Network Catholic Education Network

  10. sally lane

    Hi I was wondering if I could use your energy bills in my project? thanks

  11. ABCDiamond

    Yes, please feel free to use this.

  12. ABCDiamond

    For another perspective on Electricity usage, while on holiday in the Philippines, I used 12.3 kWh per day in a studio apartment, just 35 sqm in size. The cost per week worked out at $32 per week. A bit higher than my 4 bedroom house in Brisbane .

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