Tiana Lee-CollinsWritten by Tiana Lee-Collins
Last updated 12/12/2023

Key takeaways

 

Gas is a popular energy source, with over 5.1 million Australian homes connected to the gas network in 2021.1 But as the push towards switching to renewable energy continues, it’s important to understand how and where we consume gas. We’ve compiled gas consumption statistics on Australian gas consumption, including key facts such as:

  • Gas makes up almost a third (27.1%) of Australia’s total energy consumption.

  • Western Australia has the highest gas consumption overall, but Victoria is the biggest gas consumer for residential use.

  • Tasmania has the lowest gas consumption across all the states and territories.

Gas consumption explained

 
Gas consumption refers to the total amount of gas consumed in Australia. Besides residential use, Australian gas totals also include commercial and industrial consumption.

Gas has often been used to heat the home through space heaters and slab heating. As modern electric appliances continue to improve, in some cases electric appliances have become more efficient than their gas counterparts. How gas is consumed in a home will depend on:

The unit of measurement for gas in Australia is joules, except for Western Australia which is measured in units. These gas statistics use megajoules (MJ) – the measurement you’ll see on your gas bills (outside of Western Australia) – and petajoules (PJ), which is used for state or national gas usage. One MJ is equivalent to one million joules, and one PJ is one million billion joules.

How much gas do we use in Australia?

 
In Australia, the total gas consumption for 2020-2021 was 1,568.2 petajoules (PJ). 2 This makes up almost a third (27.1%) of the total energy consumption in Australia, a 3.7% fall from the previous year. This figure is not limited to household use, and refers to all gas consumption, including commercial, industrial and exports.

These totals only include natural gas, as liquified petroleum gas (LPG, often known as bottled gas) is typically counted under oil.

Gas consumption in Australia by state and territory

 
The following table describes the total gas consumption (in PJ) for each state and territory in Australia over a five-year period. According to the data below, we can conclude the following:

Gas consumption (PJ) in Australian by state and territory from 2016-2017 to 2020-2021
State or Territory2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-20202020-2021
NSW (and ACT)143.6144.1139.2141.9136.3
VIC262.0267.7260.0261.0241.0
QLD309.6302.3294.0313.0313.4
WA595.0643.4668.3693.1671.6
SA109.6120.4108.3103.792.5
TAS13.213.910.67.47.3
NT48.146.986.1108.7106.1
National1,481.11538.61566.61628.81,568.2
Source: Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Australian Energy Statistics, Table C. Published 2022. Accessed July 2023.

How is gas used in a household?

 
Australian households can use either LPG or natural gas to power certain appliances in a home. Common gas appliances include the following:

  • Hot water system
  • Clothes dryer
  • Stovetops, ovens and barbeques
  • Space heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Pool heaters

What is the average gas usage per household?

 
The average gas use per household will vary depending on the state or territory. Seasonal needs also affect how much the average home uses. We’ve compiled the average gas usage for each state per season, and from that data we can conclude the following:

Average household gas usage (MJ) per state or territory
Household sizeSummerAutumnWinterSpringAnnual
ACT/TAS2,3168,02916,7297,85334,927
NSW2,5334,2377,3394,27518,384
QLD1,2621,6942,5191,7637,238
SA2,0363,6816,5343,94816,199
VIC3,99910,09123,43512,27449,799
Source: Frontier Economics. Analysis of gas network data, table 11. Published December 2020. Accessed June 2023.
Note: ACT and TAS have been combined due to low sample sizes.

Average gas consumption per household size

 
When looking at gas consumption by residential households, it’s important to consider the state or territory, season, climate zone and household size as results will vary. Looking at the average gas consumption data of households, we’ve compiled some key takeaways on household gas usage:

  • Victoria had the highest gas consumption across all seasons and household sizes, with Queensland having the least.
  • The average single-person Victorian household is using 11 times more gas (13,061 MJ ) during winter than a single-person Queensland home. When comparing large households of five or more people, Victoria uses 7 times more gas, or an additional 17,324 MJ, during winter than Queensland.
  • A two-person household in the Australian Capital Territory/Tasmania used almost twice the amount of gas in winter than they did in spring and autumn.
  • In New South Wales, a three-person household uses 55.34% of the state’s annual gas consumption in winter and only 20.61% in summer.
  • All states and territories use more gas during spring than during autumn, with summer having the lowest gas consumption for households due to less need for gas heating.

New South Wales average gas consumption (MJ) by household size and season

 

Household sizeSummerAutumnWinterSpring
11,3402,1684,0332,294
22,2193,9016,9903,835
32,8414,6367,8584,643
43,5385,5939,1725,857
5+4,1176,72711,0556,900
Source: Frontier Economics. Residential energy consumption benchmarks. Published December 2020. Accessed June 2023.

Queensland average gas consumption (MJ) by household size and season

 

Household sizeSummerAutumnWinterSpring
15999391,314826
21,0991,4502,1581,554
31,3551,7572,7451,792
41,7932,5053,3602,637
5+2,2742,8944,7363,110
Source: Frontier Economics. Residential energy consumption benchmarks. Published December 2020. Accessed June 2023.

South Australia average gas consumption (MJ) by household size and season

 

Household sizeSummerAutumnWinterSpring
11,1242,0853,9792,257
21,8073,3136,0233,528
32,6555,1738,8745,619
43,0845,1738,8745,619
5+3,3495,5378,8745,619
Source: Frontier Economics. Residential energy consumption benchmarks. Published December 2020. Accessed June 2023.

Victoria average gas consumption (MJ) by household size and season

 

Household sizeSummerAutumnWinterSpring
12,4846,17814,3757,377
23,91110,23023,85512,466
34,19210,23023,85512,466
44,69411,56724,42614,111
5+6,02814,33933,37517,444
Source: Frontier Economics. Residential energy consumption benchmarks. Published December 2020. Accessed June 2023.

ACT/Tasmania average gas consumption (MJ) by household size and season

 

Household sizeSummerAutumnWinterSpring
11,4983,2766,1883,725
22,1898,54217,9188,221
32,2548,54217,9188,221
43,44210,10020,3059,711
5+3,44210,10022,06010,206
Source: Frontier Economics. Residential energy consumption benchmarks. Published December 2020. Accessed June 2023.
Note: ACT and TAS have been combined to create shared benchmarks due to low sample sizes.

Energy consumption by fuel type

 
Gas consumption is only one part of the total energy consumption for Australia. The following table lists the percentage of gas per state in reference to each state’s total energy consumption. Key takeaways include:

  • The national average for gas consumption is 27.4% of the total yearly energy consumption.
  • The Northern Territory has the highest percentage of gas usage compared to other fuel types at 74.4%, followed by Western Australia at 54.5%. Both are hubs for LNG plants, where the gas is liquified into LNG for exports.5
  • Tasmania has the lowest percentage of gas consumption at 6.8% and the highest consumption of renewables (47.5%).
Percentage of energy usage by fuel type in 2020-2021
State or TerritoryCoalOilGasRenewables
NSW41.942.39.26.6
VIC34.236.722.96.3
QLD35.035.820.88.5
WA9.433.854.52.3
SA8.043.735.113.2
TAS8.337.46.847.5
NT0.024.774.40.9
National28.437.327.47.0
Source: Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Australian Energy Statistics, Table C. Published 2022. Accessed July 2023.

Sources

1 Energy Networks Australia. Reliable and clean gas for Australia homes. Published July 2021. Accessed June 2023.

2 Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Australian Energy Update 2022. Published Sep 2022. Accessed June 2023.

3 Britannica. Climate of Victoria. Accessed June 2023.

4 Frontier Economics. Analysis of gas network data, table 11. Published December 2020. Accessed June 2023.

5 Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Australian Energy Statistics, Table C. Published 2022. Accessed July 2023.

6 Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. States and territories. Accessed June 2023.

Methodology

The Frontier Economics gas consumption data was taken only from surveyed households with a gas mains connection. The final sample size for the gas consumption data was 3,148 households.

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