8 Eco Savvy Renovation Ideas

Friday, 10 April 2015

Posted by Rebeccah Elley

Here are some scary stats: The average annual household electricity bill sits at a high $1,925 in NSW, followed by $1,547 in Queensland, $1,495 in Victoria and $1,481 in South Australia. That’s a big bite out of your yearly family budget!

So if renovating your home is on your radar for 2015, it’s definitely worth taking the time to make changes to your property that will not only brighten up your living space but help the environment and reduce your average electricity consumption.

All it takes is some eco friendly design choices, smart heating and cooling solutions, and energy efficient appliances to save you big bucks on your electricity bill. Or try switching to a cheaper energy plan with Mozo's energy comparison tool

So consider these 8 green renovation ideas for your upcoming home reno:

1. Install skylights

We all know that heat rises, so give the scorching heat somewhere to escape to by installing high windows or a skylight that you can open in summer to cool down your house. Another upside is skylights are so on trend right now!

2. Tint your glass

Glass can often be a great way to open up your home and let much needed light in but according to the Queensland Government unshaded glass is the single greatest source of unwanted heat in a home. That’s where tinted glass comes in, reducing the amount of ultraviolet light entering your home and keeping you from blasting the aircon. 

3. Paint your roof a light colour

According to Your Home, light coloured roofs can reflect up to 70% of summer heat. So consider giving your roof a fresh lick of paint with a reflective roof coating that will reduce the amount of heat seeping into your house.

4. Face your living area north

Australia might be known for its balmy summer days, however in the winter months, the chilly weather can lead to Aussies cranking up their heaters (and their electricity bills). So when you take on your 2015 renovations consider your design carefully and position your living areas to face north, to ensure your house is warmed up by the full sun during most of the day.

Fun fact: Retaining heat in winter through smart design has been coined “passive solar heating”, which works by using free heating direct from the sun to reduce an estimated 40% of energy consumed in the average Australian home for space heating and cooling, according to Your Home.

5. Check window frames and joinery

Your window frames and joinery play an important role in sealing warmth in your house. Plus, fixing things like broken window frames is sure to give your house that new feeling again.

6. Add insulation

If your home is an icebox in winter and sauna in summer, you could consider adding an extra layer of insulation to your roof and walls, which will help regulate the temperature in your home.

7. Select energy efficient appliances

Once you’ve completed your new home reno, make sure you fill the house with eco-friendly appliances because according to the Australian Government appliances can account for up to 30% of your home energy use. So look for gadgets with high energy rating labels that can be found on everything from air conditioners to swimming pool pumps.

8. Install a solar system

Every time you use hot water in your home, you’re probably using electricity. And while there are ways to reduce your hot water usage like running your washing machine on a cold cycle, there’s another much more environmental and wallet friendly way to cut your electricity usage.

It’s called a solar hot water system, which absorbs energy from the sun to create hot water that is then stored in an insulated tank for you to use as you please. And the great thing is, installing a solar hot water system could cut your energy requirements by over 80%, according to the Queensland Government.

If you want to know more about your solar power options, read our 6 secrets to save on solar guide here or check out our other energy guides.

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