Its that dreaded time of month again. Time to pay the energy bill. No matter what you do or drastic measures you take, prices just seem to keep on rising.
The majority of people assume that the little changes you make here and there has little to no effect on that final bill.
And they would be right.
But you're not like those other people, you're here to find out what you can do to drastically reduce it.
Well, Instead of beating around the bush, we're here to tell you that it starts from the beginning, before your house has even been built. There's no easy way around it. You can try to do minor adjustments here and there to save those $5. But we're here to show you how most people are able to save 50-80% on their bills just with a few design choices.
But before we share these tips, we have to recognise that energy bills will rise naturally, and there's nothing you can do about it.........for the moment at least
Global warming, this one's a no-brainer.
As the worlds finite stockpile of energy resources are depleted, this drives prices higher. As governments become more aware and conscious of their ecological footprint, the introduction of taxes on emissions will also drive prices higher.
Think of these costs as a 'base', the things you can control are 'extra' costs:
What your house is constructed in become the biggest factor when it comes to calculating your energy bill, and of course, this starts from the beginning. There are three main types of construction common to Australia
Without going too deep into the technical explanation, double-brick houses insulate the inside very well against hotter temperatures outside. Mainly because there is an air-gap between the two layers. So if you're buying a double-brick house in Melbourne for instance, with cold temperatures for the majority of the year, you may end up spending a significant amount for heating. Because after all, no one wants to sleep in the cold.
Lightweight construction using products like hardwood timber, are great for humid climates like Queensland where a considerable amount of ventilation is necessary. Although much cheaper, There will be significant heat loss during winter and become very warm in summer.
Heavier materials such as concrete, are great for thermal mass. They are suitable for climates with hot days and cold nights, because during the day heat is stored within the material and released inward during the night. Concrete can be more expensive, and very resource intensive.
Choosing the right construction type for your next house will be very important when it comes to paying your energy bills down the track. Know what climate type you are in and choose the right construction method.
Now that we know what to use, let see how to use it efficiently. Here are some tips when it comes to designing your house to save energy:
An open-plan kitchen and dining room might be great for entertaining, but heating or cooling an open, large space without walls and doors will use more energy.
Up to 40 per cent of a home’s heat is lost through the windows, so if your house was built with single-pane windows it might be worth adding retrofit double glazing.
Whether your house has insulation or not can make a big difference to your energy use. Wall insulation may reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 20 per cent, while ceiling insulation may reduce costs by up to 45 per cent.
How your house is constructed is probably the most important aspect when it comes to saving energy. Even a tiny air gap in construction can lead to significant heat loss.
Here are some tips for your builder to follow when constructing your house:
Don't cut corners, make sure everything is properly fitted and adjusted. If you ensure this now, it will help you save in the future
Always select the right material for the job. Do a bit of research and find a more sustainable or effective way to build you house, rather than going for the easier option.
Wherever possible, try and use products that are made from 100% natural materials. Not only will these look better, but products such as terracotta roof tiles are made from clay and provide natural protection against heat and cold. Products like reclaimed or recycled timber and acoustic panels are perfect if you want a natural solution that saves money, looks good and is Eco-sustainable.
Here at LOHAS AUSTRALIA, we supply building materials that are sustainable and efficient. Make an inquiry with us and we are sure to save on your energy bill down the track.