The inaugural Origin Energy Essentials Report, released today in conjunction with Origin’s new Energy Made Fresh Daily campaign, delves into the relationship between households and their appliances and electrical gadgets.

With the number of appliances in Australian households having almost doubled since the year 20001, this report provides a rich insight into the appliances we use and love, and also current lifestyles and priorities of Australians and how these might evolve in the future.

Dr. Rebecca Huntley, Director of Ipsos Australia who has partnered with Origin on this report says it not only shows how much Australians love their appliances, but the report also paints a clear picture of the differences between men and women, form and function, generation change and what is becoming redundant within the home.

"The Origin Energy Essentials Report shows that Australians are an ever evolving bunch, but it also backs up some already known home truths. We can see the continuing importance of information and communication technology, with often one tablet, laptop or TV not enough to satisfy a household.

"We can also see that women are more attached to their mobile devices then men, reflecting women using technology to multitask around the home. In a show of generational change, more young Australians would prefer to browse the internet on their phone than have a hot shower and hot meal," she said.

Phil Craig, Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs at Origin says energy is an essential part of our everyday lives, but one that we often take for granted.

"Like the new Energy Made Fresh Daily campaign, we want to get people thinking a bit differently about energy – where it comes from and how we use it every day.

“This report will also help us to have much richer conversations in Australia about the long and complex process of finding, generating and delivering energy; and how we get the balance right between reliable supply, cost and reducing emissions.”

Among a number of insights about how Australians of different age groups and genders use energy in the home, the report provides details on:

  • the appliances that we get the greatest enjoyment from (our TVs);
  • which appliances we use the most (fridge/freezer);
  • the essential appliances that we can’t live without (18 – 28 year olds can’t live without their mobile and their wi-fi);
  • the non-essential appliances that are taking up space in our cupboards (sorry bread maker); and
  • what motivates our purchases of new appliances (for the items we enjoy – we need the latest and greatest, for other appliances it is largely driven by need).


Origin Energy Essentials Report

A selection of key findings from the Origin Energy Essentials Report 2014 are summarised below:

Generational differences

  • 18 to 29-year-olds can’t live without their mobile devices – they were the only age group to list the mobile phone and their internet connection amongst their most essential, most enjoyed, and most used appliances.
  • The older generation love a cup of tea – more than 50 per cent of respondents aged 50 to 64 nominated the kettle as one of their most used appliances.

Keeping up with the Jones’

  • The desire to upgrade old appliances is what has driven new purchases of laptops (52 per cent), mobile phones (77 per cent) and televisions (71 per cent) in the past 12 months.
  • Purchases of smaller kitchen appliances, however, are motivated by the need to replace faulty appliances – led by the kettle (60 per cent), toaster (51 per cent) and microwave (57 per cent).

Battle of the sexes

  • There are significant differences between how men and women use and value their appliances – with women preferring devices that allow them to move freely around the house, whereas men prefer to remain stationary.
  • Women list their laptop (43 per cent) and their mobile phone (42 per cent) amongst their most used appliances – whereas men prefer sitting in front of the TV (54 per cent) and using their desktop computer (44 per cent), and get much greater enjoyment from gaming consoles (49 per cent).

Bread makers and MP3 players are old news

  • Lifestyle tools like the once popular bread maker and the cake mixer have become "white elephants" of the kitchen – with 85 per cent and 73 per cent respectively listing these appliances as non-essential.
  • The MP3 player meanwhile has become an under-valued appliance – ranked non-essential by 71 per cent of the population and not rated amongst the most used, enjoyed or essential appliances by any age group.
  • While gaming consoles and coffee machines are owned and enjoyed by many – people realise that they are not essential appliances (78 per cent, and 68 per cent respectively).

The Origin Energy Essentials Report is the result of a survey of 1,000 Australians aged 18 – 64 conducted by Nature in March 2014. The survey asked respondents to nominate what appliances they had in their home, which appliances they use and enjoyed most, and which appliances they considered essential. The survey also queried respondents on their appliance purchase behaviours over the past 12 months and their appliance purchase intentions for the next 12 months.

(42 pages)     (16 pages)


Stuart Osbourne
External Affairs
Ph: +61 3 9652 5781
Mobile: +61 427 586 401

  1. "Third Survey of Residential Standby Power Consumption of Australian Homes – 2010", E3 Energy Equipment Energy Efficiency, December 2011