One of the easiest ways to improve the sustainability of your property is through energy-efficient home features, which can be selected and installed at any time. However, it is easiest to have ovens, hot water services, sinks, showers and dishwashers installed during the build phase of your new home, when vital areas for installation are easily accessible. This is essentially true when your house may be built on a foundational slab. Some alternatives you might consider include:
ENERGY STAR certified fridge: selecting a high energy star fridge with an energy saver switch can reduce your energy cost by 5 to 10 per cent. You might also consider choosing a fridge that forgoes features like ice makers and dispensers, which can increase energy use by 14 to 20 per cent.
ENERGY STAR dishwasher: choosing a high energy star dishwasher will improve your energy and water usage with features such as soil sensors allowing your dishwasher to detect how dirty your dishes are and adjust appropriately. A better dishwasher can also improve water filtration with better functionality meaning fewer cycles, less wasted energy and water and less fuss.
Induction cooktop: inversely, electric cooktops heat up faster than other stovetops offering higher energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR Air Conditioning: choosing an air conditioner that is size-appropriate for your space and has programmable temperature settings can help you control your energy usage. You can also purchase air conditioners with optional energy-saving settings. Look for air conditioners with a high energy efficiency (EER) and seasonal energy efficiency (SEER) rating.
3 to 4 WELS Star Water Fixtures: save water with high rated showerheads, toilets and sinks. Consider also installing a wastewater treatment system such as a grey or black-water system, made to reuse treated water for things such as toilet flushing and landscape irrigation.
Rainwater Collection: installing roof gutters and downpipes can allow you to collect rainwater for gardening and toilets.
LED Lighting: with higher energy efficiency and smart lighting options to adjust timing and atmospheric lighting, LED lights offer better functionality, higher longevity and greater savings than older lighting fixtures.
Solar panels: generating your own electricity with a solar panel system, if designed well, will drastically reduce your energy bills (sometimes as much as 80 percent). Noting this before construction commences can help with the roof design of your home. Accounting for the required space in the ideal placement, for the solar panels to be placed, will only improve your energy efficiency even further. For further information, follow this link to YourHome, Australia’s Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Homes.