Household energy usage

The first step in reducing your household energy usage is to understand how much you are using, and where you are using it around the home. This can be done by reading and tracking your energy bills, or using tools such as a power meter to work out which of your appliances are drawing significant amounts of power.

Read and track your energy bills

Making small changes, such as switching off appliances at the wall to save on standby power can result in big savings over time. Read and keep track of your bills, both for the amount of money spent and the units of energy used so you can see the savings made over time. The same applies to water bills, in terms of saving water.

The table below can help you assess whether your average power and water usage (over the year) is high, medium or low. Electricity and gas are both recorded in units on your bills (1 unit = 1 kilowatt hour (kWh). Your daily electricity usage is given in units on your electricity bill, under "Average Daily Consumption". The table below has combined the electricity and gas figures.


High Usage
(per day)
Medium Usage
(per day)
Living Smart Usage (per day)
Household size

Electricity / Gas**

Combined

Water*

Electricity / Gas**

Combined

Water*

Electricity / Gas**

Combined

Water*
1-2 Persons 30 Kwh 900L 20 Kwh 600L 10 Kwh 250L
3-4 Persons 45 Kwh 1,200L 30 Kwh 800L 15 Kwh 500L
5+ Persons 60 Kwh 1,500L 40 Kwh 1,000L 20 Kwh 750L

Source: Department of Transport (2009) Living Smart series brochure: "How to read your bills and track your consumption - water, gas and electricity".

* Note that water use on your bill appears in kilolitres per day. 1 kilolitre (KL) = 1,000 litres (L). Therefore 1,200L would appear as 1.2KL on your bill.

** The table only applies to gas supplied in a pipeline and not for bottled gas.

Home Energy Audit Toolkits

Home Energy Audit Toolkits are available for loan from City of Swan libraries. They may be used to help you measure the energy use of different appliances around your home and identify where the most energy is being used. For more information on the Home Energy Audit Kits or their availability, contact your local library .

Measuring Your Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint of your household is a measure of the amount of carbon emissions produced by the residents of your home in the running of the house, and the activities of daily life. This is commonly measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) or kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (kgCO2e) (1 tonne = 1,000kg). To calculate your household's footprint, you can use a calculator such as one of those listed below: