Pets take a lot of energy to look after – literally.
Monash University researchers say electricity demand created by pets may even affect how we respond to climate change.
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and we’re increasingly reliant on household appliances to keep them comfortable, especially while we’re out during the day.
The university’s research found a growing number of families are leaving air-conditioners, heaters and even televisions or other entertainment devices running during the day – just for their pets.
One family even installed an air-conditioner in the garage because their dogs liked to go in there while they were out.
Researcher Yolande Strengers says the trend could begin to influence peaks and troughs in electricity demand – crucial factors in managing supply – as well as increasing overall usage.
“The scenario helps us think about innovative policies and programs to support pet care and energy issues related to the home,” Associate Professor Strengers says.
“Designing and building thermally-efficient housing is clearly very important.
“But we could also be thinking about more creative opportunities … such as safe and secure ways for pets to access inside and outside areas through emerging technologies like automated pet doors.”
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