Originally published on RenewEconomy.
By Sophie Vorrath
One out of every five Australian households are turning to solar energy for their electricity or hot water, new data has reveled.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that its latest figures show that 19 per cent of households nationally now currently either rooftop solar panels or solar powered hot water systems – up from about 5 per cent back in 2011, when the ABS first started publishing statistics on solar.
Of the 19 per cent, 14 per cent of these households have rooftop PV, according to the ABS’s Karen Connaughton.
“Add in solar hot water heating and we’re up to 19 per cent, so one in five households are now using some form of solar power.”
Unsurprisingly, South Australia scored highest for rooftop solar installations, with a huge 24 per cent of households there tapping electricity from the sun.
Queensland is second highest, with 20 per cent rooftop solar penetration, followed by WA with 16 per cent, Victoria with 11 per cent, ACT and NSW both on 10 per cent, Tasmania at seven per cent and NT at six per cent.
The ABS statistics also found that almost all households in Australia (99.7 per cent) used mains electricity as a source of energy, while half (50 per cent) used mains gas.
One in five households used LPG/bottled gas (20 per cent), and 14 per cent of households used another source of energy.
The report also notes that three-quarters of Australian households use some form of cooling, with just under half choosing reverse cycle air conditioning and the remainder mostly split between refrigerated air conditioning and evaporative coolers.
“The hot spot for cooling was the Northern Territory,” said Connaughton, “where 97 per cent of households had some form of cooling.” Tasmania had the least, with only about half of all households having air-con.
Reprinted with permission.