By Claire Reilly

From vinyl, to cassette tapes, CDs and MP3s – the Australian consumption of digital media has changed over the years, and the way we interact with our consumer electronics products and appliances has followed suit.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its analysis of Energy Use and Conservation yesterday, including a review of Australian appliance use since 2005.

Australia’s interaction with consumer electronics and digital media has shifted over the seven years, with laptops overtaking desktop computers as the most common computers in the household. In 2008, 38 per cent of households had at least one laptop while 60 per cent had a desktop computer.

By 2011, those figures had changed to 61 per cent of households owning a laptop, and 55 per cent owning a desktop.

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The percentage of households with DVD players or recorders grew from 72 per cent in 2005 to 83 per cent in 2011, while the proportion of households with a stereo system fell from 78 per cent in 2005 to 41 per cent in 2011.

More Australians are using dishwashers (climbing from 42 per cent of households in 2005 to 51 per cent in 2011), as well as front-loader washing machines (the proportion of which grew from 13 per cent to 31 per cent). This was matched by a decline in the use of top-loader machines, which were used by 83 per cent and 68 per cent of households in the two respective survey years.

The ABS also traced consumers’ concerns when it came to purchasing or replacing appliances. The statistics noted that energy star ratings were considered by roughly half of Australian households when purchasing whitegoods (including refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing and dryers) while water-efficiency ratings were considered by 45 per cent of households for dishwashers and washing machines.