Typical House Energy Use

In 2012/2013 CSIRO conducted a study of the energy use of 209 Australian households. Below is a summary of the different characteristics that were monitored throughout during the study:

  • 209 houses
  • 30 minutely electricity consumption
  • 30 minutely electricity generation (rooftop solar PV)
  • Up to 8 circuits monitored; circuits classified as:
    • air conditioning
    • oven
    • lights
    • hot water
    • general power
    • Solar (rooftop PV)
  • Houses located in:
    • Melbourne, Victoria (69 houses)
    • Brisbane, Queensland (69 houses)
    • Adelaide, South Australia (71 houses)
  • Mostly detached dwellings; a few semidetached townhouses; no flats, units or apartments
  • All houses constructed between 2000 and 2010
  • Other information collected includes, notably:
    • NatHERS star rating
    • Use of gas heating
    • 30 minutely temperatures inside and outside
    • Occupancy pattern and the household type

The details of the original study can be found in the report – The Evaluation of the 5-Star Energy Efficiency Standard for Residential Buildings.

Data analysis

Monitoring continued after the completion of the original study for 5 years, until the end of 2017, creating a very large and rich database of electricity consumption and generation patterns. However, the total number of houses monitored was reduced to 163, with 62 houses in Victoria, 58 in South-Australia and 43 in Queensland.

Statistical analysis showed differences in the amount of energy consumption, depending on the household type and the star rating. Hence household types and star rated houses which showed the same energy consumption behaviour have been regrouped into categories, as described below:

  • Categories for the household type
    • Adults with children (Families with school, pre-school and adult children)
    • Adults without children (Working couples and retired couples)
    • Single adults (Working single and retired single)
    • Unknown
  • Categories for the star rating – average of 4.5
    • Houses with a star rating below 4.5
    • Houses with a star rating above 4.5

Four dashboards have been developed to illustrate the electricity consumption or generation patterns over time, based on multiple criteria.

General dashboard

This dashboard provides a general overview of the average daily amount of electricity consumed by the monitored houses.

On the first graph, we can see a bar chart which summarises the daily average amount of electricity per season and per state the “average” house consumed. As we can see, more electricity tends to be consumed in both winter and summer, as compared to spring and autumn.

The second graph illustrates the average daily electricity consumption of a house per season category of Star Rating and State.

The third graph highlights the average daily electricity consumption of a house per season per category of household type and per State. It seems houses with children, tend to consume more electricity than those without.

Dashboard by end use

This dashboard focuses more on the different end use circuits which have been monitored during the study. It combines multiple graphs illustrating the hourly average electricity consumption per State and season.

On the first graph, the average hourly electricity consumption per end use has been displayed. It illustrates the daily consumption pattern of general power (ie plugs), reverse cycling systems (ie air conditioning), lights and oven. It also included a bar chart representing the average daily electricity production through solar PV.

And next to this graph is displayed the hourly pattern of the total electricity consumption per week and per day. In Queensland and Victoria, the average hourly electricity consumption tends to increase during week-end.

Finally, the red curve is the average hourly consumption per day. The graph also includes the 10th and the 90th percentile of the collected data, to illustrate the variability of the consumption pattern.

Comparison between states

The comparison between the 3 states: Queensland, South-Australia and Victoria, is the core of this dashboard.

Two graphs display the hourly electricity consumption per season. One focuses on the different end uses: general power (i.e. plugs), reverse cycling systems (i.e. Air conditioning), lights and oven. The other one illustrates the different times of the day where the total electricity consumption is the highest. As we can see, the highest electricity consumption often happens during the evening, between 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm.

Finally, the bar chart on the top right deals with the average daily total electricity consumption of an “average” house, per state.


This evolutive dashboard allows you to see how the hourly electricity consumption and generation, – either total or by end use -, evolves all day long and over a year. The evolution over time is displayed month by month during an entire year and has been averaged on the 5 years.

Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme
Supported by data from the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) www.nathers.gov.au