Residential Energy Productivity: Is 40% improvement possible?
Chapter from the book: Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney . & Australian Alliance to Save Energy (A2SE) . 2016. Proceedings of the Australian Summer Study on Energy Productivity.
Energy consumption in the residential sector has been decreasing in Australia since 2009 but the causes of this decline have not been adequately identified. Energy use per household has also been declining at a greater rate, with total energy use per household reducing by 16% over the period 2004 – 2014. A new, comprehensive energy end-use model for Australia and New Zealand has recently be developed and it provided insights into the energy and demand impacts of various appliance programs, and changes to market characteristics, over the last 15 years. It assesses the contribution of solar generation and provides scenario projections of future consumption and demand.
The 2015 Australia Residential Baseline Study (RBS) examines the historical energy end-use trends and makes projections to 2030. Research on the market factors, appliance attributes, building efficiency and use of equipment in the residential sector has provided deep insights into the potential causes of the now declining energy use. The research has utilised up to 20 years of sales matched appliance attribute information (efficiency, size, etc.) of appliances, lighting and building thermal efficiency, to produce a stock and linked energy model of Australia.
Many of the appliance and equipment used in households have been subject to MEPS and labelling programs, with significant increases in scope and stringency since 2000. These programs are now impacting on the overall energy use in Australia, with dramatic effects that were not considered in earlier forecasts or the planning by energy authorities. We examine the factors contributing to the improvement of energy productivity at the household level, provide projections of the overall energy use per household to 2030, the contribution of solar generation, and potentially what changes might be required to reach a 40% residential productivity goal. BAU projections show an improvement in energy productivity of 20% under BAU (without PV) by 2030 from 2015 base year.