How your digital homelife dictates your energy use

How your digital homelife dictates your energy use

In 2021, we’re seeing that the role of the home is ever-changing. In the blink of an eye, the home has transformed into a workplace by day and a fully-fledged digital entertainment hub by night.

But with so many new functions taking place in the modern household, people are fast superseding the typical energy consumption of the past.

The Emerging Technologies Research Lab (ETLab) at Monash University’s recent Future Home Life report has shed light on how emerging technologies are rapidly changing the way Australian households are consuming energy.

“People anticipate that the home will become even more important to them as they age, with healthcare and aged care increasingly home-based. That all has consequences for energy demand,” said the co-author of the report, Associate Professor Yolande Strengers.

The biggest energy-using areas:

Of the seven different areas of home life explored in the report, charging and mobility, cooking and eating, heating and cooling and working and studying from home accounted for the majority of both current and future energy consumption.

It also goes without saying that the integration of social media, digital devices and internet use in the lives of Aussies has played a prominent role in the increasing demand for electricity - not to mention the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the lifestyle trends we uncovered, but many householders we spoke to expect them to continue,” said Strengers.

“For instance, people are becoming more interested in health and care technologies, such as air purifiers, to remove allergens and pathogens related to bushfire smoke, pets or pollen, or alleviate concerns about the spread of coronavirus.”

All things considered, the following are the most likely contributors to your energy bill:

  • Air conditioning or electrical heating appliances
  • Older appliances that aren’t as energy efficient
  • Your washing machine and clothes dryer
  • Lighting
  • Other appliances and electronics

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The report was conducted as part of the landmark Digital Energy Futures project, which is supported by the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects Funding Scheme in partnership with Monash University, Ausgrid, AusNet Services and Energy Consumers Australia.