The New South Wales Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has released the results of its 2015 Household Survey. This was the seventh household survey since 1993 about energy and water consumption across 4,000 houses in New South Wales. The survey was undertaken by Roy Morgan Research in the Sydney, Gosford, Hunter, the Riverina, and the North Coast regions. It obtained information regarding each household’s demographics, appliance stock, how they used energy and water, and a number of other characteristics related to energy and water consumption. Roy Morgan also collected information from network providers on the household’s electricity, gas and water consumption.

IPART regulates aspects of the water and energy sector across NSW. For example, it determines the maximum prices that can be charged for bulk and retail water services provided by major water utilities across NSW and sets the maximum prices gas retailers can charge customers who have not signed a market contact. It also recommends a benchmark range for unsubsidised solar feed-in tariffs that retailers may voluntarily offer customers, and has a role in monitoring competition in the retail electricity market. A sound understanding of the nature of water and energy usage across different households helps to provide a context for its decisions.

Frontier (Asia-Pacific) was engaged by IPART to use the survey data to investigate the determinants of the levels and patterns of household energy and water consumption in NSW.  Frontier used a range of analytical tools, including econometric regression analysis and behavioural insights, to investigate the drivers of energy and water consumption, as well as the underlying relationships between total energy consumption and a range of social and economic characteristics. Understanding these relationships  is critical in informing energy decision-making.

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