A range of businesses and services, products and materials are available here to assist in making your design or build more energy efficient:
Building Materials Register:
Designers and Builders working with sustainability principles:
LOCAL Retrofitting How to:
Information Sheets for a comfortable, energy efficient, low carbon home or office:
Updated July 2014
Online info links
Resource Smart – a site of helpful tips and suggestions for simple changes and decisions you can make on electricity and gas bills, saving energy, water, rebates, building and renovating. http://www.resourcesmart.vic.gov.au/
Your Home – this site is a suite of consumer and technical guide materials and tools developed to encourage the design, construction or renovation of homes to be comfortable, healthy and more environmentally sustainable. http://www.yourhome.gov.au/about/index.html
Winter warming tips
Make the most of the warmth that is around – the sun, your heating and your body. Wear clothes suitable for cooler days, indoors and out. Sit where the sun provides natural warmth and if you need to use heating, keep the warmth in by closing off doors and windows. The winter thermostat is most comfortable at 19 degrees C and every degree highter can cost you 10% more on your power bill.
Cover the insides of windows
A variety of functional indoor blinds, curtains, drapes, tints, double glazing and film are available or can be made for the inside of windows and will stop yourhome from getting cooler, especially on cold days when the warmth in your home transfers through all external windows – glass is a terrible insulator. Keep the air still on your windows to stop the transfer of heat by using secondary glazing, window coverings or pelmets.
Use reversible shade trees
Shade trees can affect big savings on energy bills by keeping your house cool in summer with shade and letting in the light and warmth from the winter sun when they lose their leaves in the cooler months. Exotic trees can be less flammable than native trees and of course fruit bearing trees or vines are a bonus!
Use the car less
Walking is one of the healthiest things you can do for your health. You will stay warm and when you get to where you are going o you won’t need to turn on the heating, at least not straight away. And you will save on car running costs too. If you are using the heating in your car, switch it off a few minutes before you get to where you are heading so you can acclimitatize before going inside.
Summer solutions tips
Get ready for summer by making some cheap, quick and easy changes at home – your bank balance will love the difference! And your family will feel the comforts at home.
Good insulation is an essential factor to any changes you make at home. Check the ceiling, wall and floor insulation. Did you know that 25-40% of heat can come through the roof of a typical un-insulated house? And 25-35% through the windows and 15-25% through the walls.
On hot windy days hot air will blow into your house through open doors and windows, cracks and gaps, and it’s like having the heaters on full in the middle of summer. Use draught stopping strips, excluders and seals to block gaps around doors and windows. They stop bugs from getting in too. You can also significantly drop the temperature in your roof cavity by installing hot air vents or whirly-gigs.
Shade the outside windows
Sun that directly hits your windows heats up the glass and frames, which then transfers heat to the inside of your house. Shade your north and west side windows from outside with external blinds (light colours are best), shade cloth, or shady trees or vines, which lose their leaves in winter.
Cover the insides of windows
A variety of attractive indoor blinds, curtains, drapes, tints and double glazes are available or can be made for the inside of windows and will stop your home from getting hotter, especially on really scorching days when the heat from outside transfers through all external windows. On days like these close windows, doors and covers before you go out in the morning, even if it feels fresh and cool.
Get an indoor/outdoor thermometer
Get a thermometer that tells you when it’s cooling down outside at night so you can open up doors and windows for the breeze. Or when the temperature outside has heated up in the morning so you can shut down your house before it gets hot. Just being alert helps you make quick and easy changes that can save you money and make it more comfortable in your home.
Use your air conditioner less
Making changes to your home can reduce the need to use your air conditioner, which can cost anywhere up to 60c an hour to run! By cooling the temperature in your home you will find ceiling or standing fans just as effective, and they’re so much cheaper to run. And before turning on the air conditioner ask yourself, do I really need it turned on?
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