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How much energy does the average home use?

Households in some suburbs consume over twice as much electricity as others, while certain climates are just better for your energy bill.

Some states and climates have a far lower power usage than others.

We've gone through all the data in the AER's 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Benchmarks report to give you an idea of how your consumption stacks up against others, and how you can curb it.

  • Keep in mind.The AER report is updated every 3 years and the next one comes out in December 2026. Giving the energy landscape has changed a lot this year, treat information on this page with some caution.

What is the average usage by state?

Consumption varies significantly by state. Tasmanians use the most per year, 8,619kWh on average, especially on heating in the cold winter.

Victorians use almost half as much power annually as Tasmanians and have the lowest consumption at 4,615kWh.

What about Western Australia and the Northern Territory?

The AER report only accounts for states that are part of the National Electricity Market (NEM). Because WA and NT don't report figures the same way, they haven't been included in this report.

According to an AEMC fact sheet from 2017 the average annual electricity consumption in Western Australia is
5,198 kWh per year.

Based on information from Northern Territory Power and Water, the average household in the NT has an annual usage of 8,500kWh. This is due to the heat in the territory which in turn requires heavier use of air conditioning.

What is the average usage in capital cities based on household size?

Larger households consume more energy, but just how much depends on the capital city they're based in and what the climate is like.

Residents of Hobart used the most power for each household member on average, while Melbourne residents used the least.

Here's a look at average usage per quarter in capital cities based on household size.

Household sizeSydney usage (kWh)Brisbane usage (kWh)Adelaide usage (kWh)Melbourne usage (kWh)Canberra usage (kWh)Hobart usage (kWh)
17778537307381,0901,501
21,3091,2821,2621,2101,5272,196
31,5901,5421,5431,2691,9312,369
41,8281,9211,7801,4512,3862,705
5+2,2522,2012,2051,8382,5382,889

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+65%

1 person vs 5 person household consumption

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2.4 people

Average household size

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-25%

Cheaper in Spring than Winter

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5,237

Average annual consumption total for a household of 2

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+67%

1 person vs 5 person household consumption

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2.6 people

Average household size

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-36%

Cheaper in Spring than Winter

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6,171

Average annual consumption total for a household of 3

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+61%

1 person vs 5 person household consumption

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2.6 people

Average household size

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-6.6%

Cheaper in Spring than Winter

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6,169

Average annual consumption total for a household of 3

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+60%

1 person vs 5 person household consumption

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2.7 people

Average household size

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-38%

Cheaper in Spring than Winter

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5,077

Average annual consumption total for a household of 3

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+57%

1 person vs 5 person household consumption

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2.4 people

Average household size

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-40%

Cheaper in Spring than Winter

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6,107

Average annual consumption total for a household of 2

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+38%

1 person vs 5 person household consumption

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2.4 people

Average household size

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-48%

Cheaper in Spring than Winter

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8,784

Average annual consumption total for a household of 2

For a more accurate idea of what your average electricity usage is check the second page of your energy bill. It should show your usage compared to households in your area.

Dylan Crismale

Dylan Crismale
Utilities writer

Finder survey: How many Australians care how much their appliances are costing them?

ResponseWAVICSAQLDNSW
Yes81.2%74.39%73.42%76.68%74.55%
No11.97%12.98%21.52%12.11%13.88%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1145 Australians, December 2023
Data for ACT, NT, TAS not shown due to insufficient sample size. Some other states may also be excluded for this reason.

How does the climate of where you live affect energy usage?

Australia is a huge continent with extremely diverse climates. The climate you live in affects your heating and cooling bills.

Warm, temperate areas like Sydney have low annual consumption (average of 5,154kWh), while cold areas like Hobart have very high consumption (7,229kWh on average).

Climate zoneDescriptionExample towns/regionsAverage annual power consumption (kWh)
1High humidity summer, warm winterCairns, Townsville5,977
2Warm humid summer, mild winterRockhampton, Brisbane, Coffs Harbour5,341
3Hot dry summer, warm winterMt Isa, Western Downs, Longreach5,977
4Hot dry summer, cool winterDubbo, Whyalla, Mildura6,258
5Warm temperateUrban Sydney, urban Adelaide5,154
7Cool temperateCanberra, Hobart, Yarra Ranges7,229
8AlpineSmall sections of alpine Tasmania, and the Snowy Mountains7,229
  • Note: Data for climate zones 1 and 3 as well as zones 7 and 8 were pooled.

How to reduce energy consumption

If you're worried about how much energy your houshold uses there are a couple of easy ways to start reducing your consumption.

    1. Switch off appliances at the power point. Even on standby power your appliances are still drawing energy from the grid. If the off switch is in an easily accessible space, reach for it - often.
    2. Take shorter showers. The less hot water you use the less energy your hot water system expends to keep it warm. You can install a system that only heats the water when it's in use.
    3. Insulate your home. Twice a year we fork out extra on our power bills to either keep cool or stay warm. Insulating and outkiting your home properly for the climate you live in is key. Also rug up in winter and opt for more comfortable clothes in summer.
    4. Adjust the thermostat. Setting your air conditioner or heater a few degrees higher or lower means it won't have to work as hard and will use less energy as a result.

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