This is a difficult post to make, as I am sure these statistics are measured quite differently all throughout the world.
Our electricity usage averages about AU$200 per quarter; that’s a home with three people. However, we have solar hot water, which feeds some excess power back into the grid, which in turn not only reduces our household carbon output, but decreases the cost of our electricity bill. Evidently, if we were to install further solar panels, our bill would most likely be in credit each quarter. The electricity company purchases the green power at a higher rate than the mains power the sell. This is then on sold to those who wish to purchase ‘green power’ at a higher rate, who may not be able to afford panels, or may have other restrictions. The bill shows our household carbon output each quarter, and a graph for the year so we can compare and try to lower our emissions month by month.
Our household is not connected to the mains gas line, however in some Australian states, there are rebates and incentives available for getting connected. All new homes are now provided with a gas connection by default. Natural gas is cleaner and cheaper than mains electricity.
As for water usage, our household uses, on average, 450 litres daily. This is a fall from 565 litres daily from the previous financial year. This is due to rising costs and incentives such as water saving shower head and a new dual flush toilet installed with a State Government water efficiency rebate. We also have a rainwater tank, which we use to water the garden and cook with, after boiling. It is now mandatory for all new households constructed in South Australia to have rain water tanks installed, unless there are heritage related issues (due to Planning controls). My state has the highest rate of rain water usage in the country.
Our city newspaper also displays total city wide carbon output, emissions statistics, and water usage, day by day, and compares it with the year previous. Despite population growth, the city on a whole seems to be emitting less and saving more water.
As for petrol / gasoline, I own a Suzuki Alto, which has a five fuel efficiency rating, and was Australia’s cheapest petrol car to run when purchased late 2009. With a 1.0 litre, 3 cylinder engine, it is perfect for getting around on city roads and has even done a few interstate trips. I fill up about once a fortnight, with approximately 30 litres of fuel, at Octane 98 (cleaner burning, better for the engine), which costs approximately, on average, $40. I will get, on average, 420 km of stop, start city driving. So, adding all of that up, I get 1 km for about 0.09 cents.
As for something in my daily routine I would like to measure on my own accord, it would be the number of times I charge my Apple appliances. I own both an iPad and an iPhone and they literally sit on charge all day. I’m sure if I minimized usage on both and transferred a majority of my day to day internet usage (which consumes the most battery power) to my laptop, I could minimise the number of times in which I have to charge these devices.
So that is it for now! I shall try and get some images posted this week and will write a review of my transportation usage and options in my local community for my next post.