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 electricity is one item where you need to work from more information than just a countries average. You could consult a professional 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).

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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 Running 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%
2017 $1,591.25 4,325 $0.36792 11.45% * averaged over 6 years

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

2017 Update:

The change for 2017 (12 months to Nov 2017) New House, 1 split system Air conditioner, No Swimming Pool, 2 TV’s, 1 PC, and the daughter has her own place, and her own Electric Bill. Power usage sure does drop, only an average of 12 kWh per day.

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