We see it all the time: bad (energy efficient) housing design.
New subdivisions with all the buildings facing the wrong way and getting blasted by the sun.
Rows of 100-year-old terrace houses or free-standing bungalows facing the street and with the least used rooms facing north, where the living areas should be.
You’d have thought we’d learnt something over all those decades about how to make houses more liveable. But, no, we simply mask the problem by pumping up the artificial cooling systems in summer and the heating in winter.
Many of us simply shrug our shoulders when the latest utilities bill lands and condition ourselves to paying more and more for comfort that should have been built into our houses.
The flow-on effect
All this wasteful use of energy to cool (and heat) our inefficient houses is helping fuel the increasing cost of power. The providers eventually charge all of us to develop and maintain a power grid that can handle the spikes in demand when a heatwave hits.
The really sad fact is that there are plenty of houses around that use as little as 25 per cent of the energy of their inefficient neighbours. But rather than helping reduce the cost of power these energy-efficient households are basically subsidising their inefficient neighbours.
But wait, it’s not all bad news
In recent years there have been huge advances in the technology that makes modern cooling and heating systems more efficient.
As well, new innovations have been brought to the marketplace to help turn an inefficient house into one that has more frugal energy needs.
Energy Rating Systems is at the forefront of household energy efficient technology in South Australia. Choosing from the ERS suite of industry-leading products can save a household up to 80 per cent on a typical energy bill.
Of course, installing a rooftop solar array is going to make the biggest difference to your energy bills but there are also many other options to improve your existing situation. Here are just three examples:
Heat pump: An exciting new option in energy efficient hot water, heat pumps cost one third as much as conventional water heaters to run. They also earn some of the last remaining government rebates. Heat pumps are an easy replacement option for electric or gas hot water heaters as they can be fitted to existing plumbing.
Ventilation: The Australian-designed and manufactured Odyssey Intelligent Hybrid Ventilation System manages your household temperature using about the same amount of energy as a single halogen light. The result is an annual running cost of less than $30. Use it with a recycle-cycle air-conditioning system and it will reduce your house temperature by up to 5C.
Climate management: Another clever Australian-design is MyAir, a control system offered by ERS that is compatible with all major ducted air-conditioning brands. It addresses the major issue of system efficiency by dividing your home up into 10 zones that can be individually controlled. Its Exact Air Regulators are fitted to existing ducting to precisely direct air flow. As well its easy-to-use control panel doubles as a tablet.
Make the numbers add up
Rather than being resigned to paying higher and higher household energy bills, take control by speaking to an ERS expert consultant about how to make your house more energy efficient. Investing in new technology can pay itself off much quicker than you realise through its frugal use of power. Now that’s money well spent.
Main photo: ‘CSR House’ is a fascinating example of energy-efficient innovation.