‘Energy’ is defined as the ability to do work. And what amazing work energy does in our lives. It lights our buildings at night, cooks our meals, moves our cars and drives the plethora of appliances and gadgets that make our homes and offices comfortable, functional and fun.

Energy comes at a cost - both environmentally and to the hip pocket. The average Australian household generates about 14 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions through
the direct use of energy and the production of waste.
In this section, you’ll find out how to reduce the environmental impact of your energy use.

Energy in our day-to-day lives can be supplied in various forms.

  • Most Australian households are connected to electricity supplies, via the
    national grid. This electricity comes from a number of sources, predominantly greenhouse-intensive fossil fuels, but also a small proportion of renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar power.
  • We also use natural gas and LPG to provide heating, gas for cooking and hot water.
  • Some homes use solid fuel such as wood or briquettes in fireplaces. We also use LPG, petrol and occasionally biofuels in our cars and other motor vehicles.

We can use energy more efficiently and choose better sources in order to reduce our greenhouse emissions and save money.

Keep score!

It’s often said that you can’t manage what you don’t
measure. You can keep track of your efforts to reduce your emissions by keeping your eye on your energy bills. As you make efforts to reduce your gas and electricity use you’ll start to see your bills decreased, compared with the same time last year. Similarly, if you drive a car you’ll see your efforts
to reduce fuel use rewarded by lower petrol costs.

Sources of greenhouse gas contribution by the average Australian household

Using energy and generating waste produces greenhouse gases in varying proportions, as shown below. Keep this in mind when deciding where to act and be strategic in your efforts to reduce emissions - target the areas where you can make the biggest difference.