How house size affects energy usage

If you are looking to buy your first home, or you are wanting to educate yourself on energy usage and what affects it, then you are in the right place. There are several factors to consider when wanting to reduce, or be more efficient with your energy usage, and property size is one of the main factors. In this article, we are going to talk about housing in Australia, how sizing affects your energy usage and why switching to a smaller property can benefit you in more ways than just your back pocket.


Housing in Australia

It is no secret that Australia is home to some of the biggest properties and is grouped in the same category as Canada and the USA when looking at square feet per property. In fact, Australia has taken over and now holds the number one spot for the largest properties in the world. This has been a drastic increase over the past fifty-plus years and shows that Australia (despite being advocates of renewable and sustainable businesses and energy providers) is becoming a big contributor to greenhouse gases and a large carbon footprint. Having a large property in certain circumstances cannot be avoided, but there is an increasing amount of properties that have a large square foot area, but not the right amount of individuals living in it.


Size matters

If we do simple maths, it is obvious that the larger the property, the more expensive it is to heat and cool it, especially in Australia’s hot climate. There is also a correlation between open spaces and number of rooms, as multiple floors and extra windows/doors allow for draught or heat to enter a property even quicker, and therefore more money and resource is pumped into the property to run it efficiently. Think of house size in correlation to a growing family, the more children you have, the more rooms you will need, the more expensive the house will be to run. This situation cannot be avoided, but when there are less than 3 co-habitants in a 6-room property, for example, this can be a cause for concern as they are using up unnecessary space. Other factors that need to be taken into consideration are general maintenance of a property outside of energy usage, and simple things like construction or general repairs can be exponential as a property increases in size.



Nobody wants to live in a tiny property but downsizing even by 12 square meters can make a difference not only to your back pocket but also to the environment. In fact, you could save around AUD$24,000 by downsizing that amount. Crazy, right? We understand that downsizing is not possible for everybody, but if you are reading this and already feel like you don’t use at least 75% of the property you are living in then maybe it is time to reconsider. Not only will you be contributing to reducing your carbon footprint, but you will also be saving yourself money on energy, construction costs and general running costs of the household.


Author: Claire Stapley
Claire Stapley is's Energy Editor, based in Melbourne Australia. Claire is a founding member of News and Energy Team.