Thermally Efficient Homes

By Danielle King on 2 Mar 2013
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Energy efficient homes are a key weapon in Australia’s action against climate change.  One way to reduce the impact of climate change, which can also benefit the householder, is to enforce efficiency ratings on newly built homes.

Current standards require that new homes comply with a minimum 5 Star Energy Efficiency Rating, increasing to 6 Stars in May 2011.  The Firstrate5 rating tool calculates the off plan thermal performance rating. Those contemplating building new homes should consult their designer or energy rater on how to design their house for maximum energy efficiency.  Good design is the key to lower energy costs. 

If you live in an established home and are concerned about thermal performance, two technologies are available. Blower Door technology identifies air leakages in the house and Thermal Imagers measure heat differentials, which also indicates air leakage. These are often used together to obtain a thorough picture of the home’s performance.

Thermally efficient houses stay more comfortable for longer without using active heating or cooling, which can account for up to 50% of a home’s energy bill. This makes the cost saving potential significant. They also provide significant benefits by being environmentally sound, more comfortable and more affordable to live in.

Finally, overseas, efficient ‘Green’ homes are seeing up to a 10% premium on market price and are selling up to 25% faster than other traditional housing. Therefore getting an energy assessment by a qualified home sustainability assessor could reduce your bills and help increase your property’s value.

About the Author

Danielle King is the founder and director of Green Moves Australia, a company that focuses on and promotes sustainability in the built environment. She is a highly qualified and accredited sustainability consultant, qualified carbon accountant, and teaches sustainability subjects at Swinburne.

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