Power survey results shown
Conscientious residents have skewed the results of a recent survey into energy-consumption habits across the shire, which has also highlighted the region’s overreliance on wood heaters.
The Energise Margaret River survey, recently concluded by the Augusta-Margaret River Clean Community Energy and Transition Margaret River, was strongly supported by older residents, and 80 per cent of respondents were homeowners or looking to buy.
Only four of the 163 submissions were from under-30s, with two-person households about 40 per cent of respondents.
Although the survey was distributed wide, “the results are skewed towards people who already have some interest and information,” the report noted.
“They tend to be people who own their own home, have below-average power use, and above-average ownership of solar panels and solar hot-water systems,” it said.
The survey found respondents used “considerably less energy than the average consumption benchmark”.
AMRCCE chairwoman Lyn Serventy said the wood heating statistics were noteworthy among energy uses surveyed, despite high ownership of solar power arrays.
“This probably reflects the older age group of respondents, but in itself suggests that this is a high emissions factor that is difficult to deal with, but in the future will probably decrease with change,” she said.
The survey found more than 74 per cent of respondents used wood fires for heating, while less than 10 per cent used gas.
Many people said they’d prefer solar power but start-up costs and confusion around State and Federal Government rebates stymied uptake.
Forty-one per cent said they wouldn’t buy solar arrays for those reasons, but a third had them already, with rates well above the region’s 17.5 per cent uptake.
“It is interesting that uncertainty about technology or cost-benefit is a barrier to uptake of renewables,” the report said.
An exhibition at Fair Harvest was planned with further education, responding to feedback gathered during the survey, which noted home energy audits were popular with those surveyed despite 67.3 per cent of respondents saying they did not need further help to reduce electricity consumption.