Sydneysiders are not acting to conserve energy use in their homes, according to a report by the UNSW City Futures Research Centre.
The study, Energy Consumption and the Built Environment: a Social and Behavioural Analysis, looked at whether the dwelling type and socio-behavioural characteristics of households influence energy consumption.
Nearly three out of five householders said that they turned off lights in unoccupied rooms to save energy. Surprisingly, this was the most prevalent energy-saving behaviour identified by the survey. Other energy-saving actions were less common: no more than one in five people reported reducing heating or cooling in unused rooms, turning off standby buttons or buying energy-efficient light bulbs and energy-efficient devices.
"The survey results suggest that there is a long way to go before Sydney householders are fully behind the need to reduce energy consumption in the home in order to assist in the reduction in greenhouse emissions," says the report's co-author, UNSW Professor Bill Randolph. "With the exception of turning off unused lights, there is little evidence that energy reduction practices are widespread."
While energy saving behaviours were relatively uncommon, 82 percent of people agreed that energy conservation was "very important" and a further 14 percent rated it as "somewhat important". Asked about their intentions to reduce energy consumption in the next 12 months, three quarters of people said they would take some form of action.
The full report is available on the City Futures website