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Basic principles for a more efficient home

By Brian Tehan, EcoNetwork Committee Member

Home energy efficiency is a broad subject but if you follow these basic principles, you will achieve significantly lower energy bills, generate fewer emissions and your home will be healthier.

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) have a handy publication called ‘Energy Efficient Buildings Plan’. Here is a basic summary:

  1. Seal your home – closing all the air gaps, eg around doors, windows, holes in walls, etc.Insulate your home – ceilings first (essential – R3.5 or 4), followed by walls and floors if you can afford it.
  2. Energy efficient lighting – LEDs and sealed down-lights, if you have them.Windows – minimise windows – they have very poor insulating value – most should be on the north. Use eaves.
  3. Shade any windows on the east and west on the outside, if possible.
  4. Double glazing in cooler climates.Get rid of gas if you have it.
  5. Use the most efficient electric appliances and cooking – induction cook-tops.
  6. Replace gas or resistive electric heating with more efficient heat pump heating and cooling (reverse cycle air-conditioning).
  7. Replace gas or electric hot water with much more efficient heat pump hot water.
  8. Monitor your energy usage with your smart meter or other devices, such as your solar panel management.
  9. Install solar panels to help power your home and try to maximise your use of it in the daytime with your electric appliances, including your heat pump.

 I can recommend a few reference sources:

  1. YourHome – Australia’s guide to environmentally sustainable homes, mostly done by Renew and The Australian Institute of Architects
  2. BZE Energy Efficient Buildings Plan
  3. Renew – Information on many sustainability subjects
  4. My Efficient Electric Home

Sustainable House Day

Sustainable House Day (SHD) is an annual event organised by Renew (previously known as the Alternative Technology Association or ATA), a not for profit organisation ‘providing expert, independent advice on sustainable solutions for the home to households, government and industry since 1980.’

Would you like to know more about …

  • Homes designed with ageing and accessibility in mind
  • Sustainability on a budget
  • Living a lower-impact lifestyle by building with natural materials
  • Retrofitting your existing home or making the most of your existing windows, water and energy.
  • Building or retrofitting for fire resilience.

All these and more are available to non-members of Renew, or you can join for additional benefits.

Sustainable House Day is on 17 October – but there is a program of webinars in the lead up to the Day starting on 21 September.

Sign up to SHD’s online webinars now.

NSW Sustainability Awards 2021

The NSW Sustainability Awards are now open and accepting entries until 29 September 2021.   Inspired by the United Nations 2030 Global Goals and NSW’s commitment to reaching net zero by 2050, these awards will salute individuals, communities and businesses for their innovation and excellence in environmental and social leadership.

The eight awards categories include:

  1. NSW Net Zero Action Award
  2. NSW Biodiversity Award
  3. NSW Circular Transition Award
  4. NSW Clean Technology Award
  5. NSW Large Business Transformation Award
  6. NSW Small to Medium Business Award
  7. NSW Youth as our Changemakers Award
  8. Minister’s Young Climate Champion Award

The awards will be presented and run by the Banksia Foundation in partnership with the NSW Government.

For more information or for registration of interest for the awards can be made HERE

Published: 3 Sep 2021