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Alison Wright

We have been working to make our home more efficient over the last 3 years. This is what we have done.

Installed a water tank and pump for use in the garden.

Bought the most efficient appliances available when the old needed replacing.
I noticed the difference in my refrigerator power use immediately.

Solar panels and a battery.

Replaced our gas storage hot water service with an electric heat pump which only uses about 2kw a day from our solar to heat the 315L tank, which effectively means we have free hot water all year round.

Removed our old gas ducted heater and now use the efficient Heat pump Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner. which is so much cheaper to run for heating and it cools the house in summer all in the one efficient unit.

I have covered up the ceiling vents for the evaporative cooler to reduce heat loss until we can remove them and replace all our down lights with flush ceiling mounted fittings or ones that can be fully insulated over.

We have sealed up all the gaps and draughts that we could and are getting a professional in to do the few that are beyond our abilities like the chimney and old heater vents.

Our electric bills are almost zero now but for our own comfort we are about to improve our roof insulation from .05 to 4 and have wall insulation pumped in to the walls.

We will replace our gas hot plate with an induction cooktop which will enable us to be fully electric and remove the gas metre to save the extra $300 dollars a year we pay just to have that connection.

With everything we have done so far, we will have recouped all costs from the savings from our energy costs in less than 8 years.

Next I would love to retrofit our old single pane windows with argon filled double glazing one day but that is still too pricey at the moment. Hopefully it will come down in price soon as it is becoming more main stream.

We will have a beautifully comfortable home with no energy bills and the comfort of knowing we are doing our bit to save this planet for our children and grandchildren.

If I ever build a home I would incorporate all of these things as it doesn’t cost much more up front and pays for itself very quickly in savings and comfort.

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D Morrie

Wekaheights, where did you source your composting toilet waste system? I’m finding it difficult to obtain info on chemical free waste water treatment system for where I live (south Australia)

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I think it is astounding that our government has a love affair with urban sprawl. If there was no further housing developments but rather high rise apartments, People would be less reliant on private transport such as cars, People would consume less maintaining their yards (including emissions from power tools). Less greenhouse gasses and resources going into the individualised infrastructure. We would have more people sharing common resources such as parks, town centres and public transport.

All urban sprawl does is deforestation and creates dormitory suburbs as people have to work up to 100km away as there are not enough jobs in suburbia to sustain their populations.


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