Australians in general are hesitant to use their AC or electric heaters, opting to just layer up when it's cold or try to use fans in the summer. Many (most?) households don't have clothes dryers, using clotheslines instead.
I would like to see how much energy the average Australian household consumes. I'm not sure how much consumption would go up if power got cheaper, but mine sure would... I really dislike being cold inside my own house. That said, I much prefer living in Australia to the U.S., especially while raising a family.
Why bother having a clothes dryer when for most of the year you can hang them up in the shade and they will be dry within the hour. There are only a couple of states/regions where it makes sense to use a clothes dryer. The blue mountains and I imagine Tasmania where it gets too cold to hang your clothes up in the winter.
> I would like to see how much energy the average Australian household consumes.
From memory for just myself in a small apartment I used around 9-12 kWh / day. That is rarely using the A/C but having at least one PC running 24/7.
Clothes get dry regardless of the temperature: if it's cold enough, the water will freeze and then the ice sublimates into the lower-humidity atmosphere.
The temperature was only around 23c. In the same temperature in Melbourne, they dry in an hour or two.
Anecdotal, but I don't think I know a single person here who is hesitant to use heating/AC - could just be down to the people I know, but I get funny looks when I tell people just to wrap up.
Something that did surprise me here is the near-complete lack of double glazing. Everywhere I've lived has been thin single-glazed windows which just let out all of the heat/cold. It's bizarre.
I lived in Canberra, which sits in the middle of a valley so it got very cold in winter (for an Australian city) and uncomfortably hot in summer. Wikipedia tells me that lowest average low is −0.1 C in July and highest average high is 28 C in Jan. In winter heating was a necessity. And in summer owing to lack of any source of breeze AC was 'nice to have'.
I now live on the South Coast of NSW much more temperate climate 8 C to 26 C I use neither AC nor heating we have a nice coastal breeze most days during summer so is not actually that unpleasant. This is quite similar climate-wise to Sydney though you would not get cooling effect of coastal breeze if you lived there so A/c probably more desirable but I would say not essential.
The worst thing I see across the country is the lack of fly screens with security screens on them. I grew up in a house with them (Southern Queensland) and the were a fantastic and free way to moderate the temperature, you could leave them open all day when it's warm or just during the day during winter and not have to worry about people breaking in.
Are you suggesting these are bad things? I think they're positive however, it varies wildly across different locations and demographics.
Again, an average figure wouldn't be that insightful, as there are probably massive differences in different populations. Additionally, building standards change things considerably (presence or lack of insulation, double glazing, ceiling height, aspect) - certain eras and locations (often due to regulations) get these things right, others don't.
I'm not sure how much consumption would go up if power got cheaper, but mine sure would... I really dislike being cold inside my own house. That said, I much prefer living in Australia to the U.S., especially while raising a family.
As a local; yes it is a bad thing. I want cheap energy. Cheap access to energy is literally one of two things separating us from animals. The other thing is higher intelligence.
There is room for an ideological debate on the meaning of good, but this is an outcome of regulation that the government didn't push for and that the votes would not choose if they had to tick a box.
I didn't think I suggested these were bad things. Perhaps I was just over-generalising. I was just pointing out (badly) that my observations from living in Newcastle are different than my observations living in Southern California. I agree that they are positive.
A/C was limited to a single in-wall unit that was only to be used when outside shade temperature reached 95 F / 35 C. If you wanted to cool down, it was a fan or go for a swim.
Heat was whole-house, natural gas with floor registers, set to inside 65 F / 18 C max.
House had both fiberglass and blown insulation, automatic ridge-line roof venting, tall tree shade, multi-pane windows, weatherstripping, room isolation manual practices (door and register closing), etc. This was in the 1980's-1990's before "green" was standard practice, it was self-interested to save TCO money.
We have a clothes dryer in our home (in Australia), and have used it about once a year over the last 10 years. Usually only in an "emergency". Generally speaking it's always warm enough to dry laundry naturally here, which is why dryers are not so common.
> opting to just layer up when it's cold or try to use fans in the summer.
Insulation in Australian homes is generally terrible. I wish it were different. But I have rarely seen people hesitate to use a heater or AC.
Why is that?
2. Government support. If I lost my job I wouldn't have to worry about how to pay for health services. We're a healthy family, but peace of mind is great.
3. Government support. My 7 year old was diagnosed with mild ASD, ADHD and Dyslexia in Kindergarten. The National Disability Insurance Scheme has helped us pay for Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology and Psychology. She has very much thrived here, and we are grateful for it.
4. Professional environment. This might be anec-data (all of it might), but mine and my wife's workplaces are very flexible when it comes to taking care of family matters.
There are TONS of things I miss about living in Southern California (it still feels like home in many ways, good Mexican food, Disneyland, running my AC non-stop all Summer!, etc), but, for us, the pros outweigh the cons.
Isn't there a health program in the US (Medicaid?) specifically for people with limited/no income? Is it insufficient?
In general Australia has a lower crime rate than USA. Of course, there are absolutely areas within USA that would have a lower crime rate than certain areas of Australia.
- Health Care
Australia has well established free public health care that covers general illness, radiology, necessary surgeries, disabilities etc. Higher income earners are expected to also have private health insurance and are penalised in their taxes if they don't have it. However, if you're a low(er) income earner or simply prefer the public health system it works quite well.
There's also a pretty solid Welfare system if you are worried about income stability for whatever reason.
The free public education system is also quite good, although I'm unclear on how it compares to the USA.
Of course, there are also many benefits to living in the USA over Australia - particularly if you're working in the tech sector. There is a strong tech scene in Australian capital cities, but it's fairly quiet elsewhere. There's nothing comparable to Silicon Valley.
Depending on your business, the USA can also be a better place to start your own business - larger sales capacity (if you can deal with the fact States have very different taxation rules etc.) and significantly more VC opportunities (although Australia is slowly picking up its game).
Film and TV industries are also obviously miles behind LA or even New York. So if that's an industry you're interested in then USA is the place to be.
However, Australia seems to compare fairly favourably when raising a family is your biggest priority, say over career advancement.
I also feel like there was more pressure to "keep up with the Joneses" in SoCal. Mind you, I live in Newcastle, so I kinda avoid the housing problem that we have in Sydney and (now) Melbourne.
Also, foreigners that move here after the age of 35! We have private health cover as well and it's great.
LA gets 284 sunny days a year (which is a lot!). By comparison, Sydney gets 236,but Perth gets 265.
Here is a site listing Australian cities: https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Australia/Cities/suns...
Plenty of places hotter than LA if it is the heat you are interested in. Adelaide had a heatwave a few years ago where it didn't drop below 35C for 10 nights straight, and had days over 46C.
Why would somebody ever want that?
(I was suffering from 31C at lunch today)
Victoria? Only in Summer where temperatures occasionally exceed 100 Fahrenheit, winters are cold.
Tasmania? No, never.
I wasn't, I meant what I wrote, and nothing more specific than that.
Nonetheless, even comparing those two cities, I'm not sure "wrong" is an appropriate conclusion. It really depends on what metrics you're using.
LA certainly has more hours of sunlight, but it's not nearly as warm. However, hours of sunlight probably isn't what people mean when they say "sunnier", or else the Arctic would be a popular tourist destinations for "sun seekers" during its Summer.