Households using more energy but less electricity

HOUSEHOLDS around the country are using 4% more energy, but 12% less electricity than they were three years ago, data from the ABS shows.

A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found overall household energy spending went up nearly 60% in the past three years.

That was despite the 12% drop in electricity use, with Australian consumers using more gas, petrol, diesel, LPG, solar and wood to produce energy in the home.

Overall, homes and the manufacturing industry were Australia's largest energy consumers in 2011-12, using about a quarter of all energy in Australia.

Those sectors were closely followed by the transport and mining sectors, which each consumed about 15% of Australia's total energy consumption.

Renewable energy overall was steady in the past three years, at about 2% of all energy consumption, while solar rocketed by more than 20% between 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The nation still exports the bulk of its energy sources, with coal making up 61% of energy exports, followed by uranium at 25% and natural gas at 7%.