Household water and energy use, Victoria, October 2011

28 August 2012This publication presents results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 State Supplementary Survey – Household Water and Energy Use – conducted during October 2011 across Victoria. Cities can be thought of as having a metabolism, and as such, require resources in order to sustain themselves and grow (Brown et al. 2011). Internationally, resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production have been promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme as a way of ensuring that human resource requirements are met with respect to the ecological carrying capacity of the earth (UNEP 2010).

Nationally there are initiatives targeting efficient resource use, such as the National Water Initiative and the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency. In August 2009, the Commonwealth Government implemented the Renewable Energy Target scheme to encourage the use of renewable energy sources (DCCEE 2012). A range of Victorian Government policies support resource efficiency amongst households. In January 2009, the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme commenced to encourage the efficient use of established energy sources (such as electricity and gas).

The scheme also encourages investment, employment and technology development in industries that supply goods and services that reduce the use of these established energy sources (ESC 2012). A four-year action plan was set out in July 2010 to assist Victoria to adapt to climate change impact in the white paper Taking Action for Victoria’s Future. Ten priority actions were set out in the paper with two specifically directed at households: Action 4 – supporting cleaner and more efficient homes and Action 9 – helping Victorians respond to climate change (DPC 2010).

The Department of Sustainability and Environment outlined the Government’s commitment for urban water in Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Roadmap. This plan articulates key aims for Victoria’s future water supplies, including driving generational change for how Melbourne uses rainwater, storm water and recycled water to reduce energy and water use (DSE 2011). This publication presents results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011 State Supplementary Survey – Household Water and Energy Use – conducted during October 2011 across Victoria.

This is the second Victorian survey of household water and energy use, with the first Household Water, Energy Use and Conservation survey conducted in October 2009. The survey collected information on household energy sources and use, insulation, water sources and use, as well as public transport use, all of which may have implications for resource consumption. As such, the results may provide further understanding of the environmental impact of households and individuals across Victoria.

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