According to an article published by The Fifth Estate, Stockland, a leading residential mass-market developer, claims its new houses can save more than $2000 in energy bills compared to the average four bedroom home in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith. To view the article, click here.
In accordance with the Building Code of Australia, new houses now must be built to a 6 star energy rating standard, out of a maximum of 10 stars. Compared to the average existing house, which would rate at a dismal 0 or 1 star energy rating, these new houses excel in keeping warmth inside in winter and cool in summer, thus requiring less heating and cooling to stay comfortable, provided that they have been constructed to a good quality according to the design.
There have been a number of media articles regarding homes designed to 6 stars but poorly constructed in areas such as weather sealing and insulation and therefore do not give the expected energy savings. If you are buying a new home we recommend assessing the build quality of the house or you could hire a professional to do an assessment; a more involved option would be to conduct a blower door thermography test, which measures the amount of heat/coolth escaping your house due to poor weather sealing.
Buying new energy efficient appliances also help greatly in reducing your energy costs, and for example retailers like Harvey Norman now only stock TV sets that are 5-6 stars or higher. Of particular focus should be appliances that will be on for extended hours – fridges, freezers, TV’s, dishwashers and the lighting in your home.
With a combination of good design, a decent installation of insulation and weather sealing, and efficient appliances, living sustainably and with low energy bills is easier than what many people think. For advice on energy efficient improvements to your house and home assessments, visit Energy Makeovers’ website at www.energymakeovers.com.au and feel free to contact us.