Sustainable homes

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Residential Solar

Yarra Ranges Council is one of many councils who have partnered with Solar Savers to deliver quality and affordable household solar and battery systems to homeowners, landlords and renters, and small businesses.

Solar Savers takes the guess work out of installing solar by evaluating and selecting trusted installers who use quality products.

How Solar Savers works:

  1. Register your interest at the Solar Savers website or call 1300 548 598
  2. Solar Savers will check your eligibility and if you qualify for any government rebates
  3. If solar and/or a battery is right for you, an accredited installer will call you to discuss suitability and arrange a quote
  4. You review costs and approve the system proposal.
  5. We arrange for our trusted installer to contact you and prepare a quote
  6. Should you choose to proceed, you simply approve the quote, sign the agreement and pay a 10% deposit
  7. Our installer will then guide you through the process from the very beginning until after the unit is installed and you are happy with your new Solar PV system

Solar Savers has helped install over 400 solar PV systems in Victoria. By installing roof-top solar, residents and businesses in the Yarra Ranges can reduce energy bills and future-proof against rising energy costs, whilst supporting a transition to clean renewable energy.

Find out more at https://solarsavers.org.au/

Sustainable House Design

On average, the Home Energy Rating of Victorian homes constructed prior to 1990 is 1.5 stars, considerably lower than the 7-stars required of new homes starting in 2023.

Retrofits and upgrades can substantially improve the sustainability and energy efficiency of your home, lowering your energy bills, improving its comfort and lightening your footprint on the earth.

Physical Upgrades

Insulation

Installing insulation in your roof, walls and under flooring can dramatically improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. Insulation is important for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. A well-insulated ceiling can help you save up to 20% on heating and cooling energy costs. You can also install insulation (called lagging) around hot water pipes which can help with hot water efficiency.

Draught sealing

Draughts (or drafts) can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency of your home, accounting for up to 25% of heat loss in winter. Filling gaps around windows and pipes and installing draught stoppers on doorways and on exhaust fans can dramatically improve the thermal comfort of your home. 

 

Glazing upgrades

Although windows are important for letting in natural light, they are effectively holes in your wall. Upgrading to double glazed windows, installing specialised window films (which can act similarly to double glazing), and using close-fitting curtains and pelmets can help prevent heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.

Shading and lighting

There is a trade-off between letting in natural light and restricting incoming heat in summer. Shading windows in summer is a simple and effective way of reducing heat gain into your home. Simple measures include awnings, shade cloth, covered pergola or planting deciduous trees. Balancing shade and natural light is preferred and only use artificial lighting when needed, switching over to LEDs if possible. 

Appliances

Appliances and household equipment such as refrigerators, clothes dryers and stoves/ovens collectively account for around 33% of a household’s energy usage. Items such as dishwashers, evaporative coolers and washing machines also contribute to the water use of your house. Consider a high star rating on new appliances, calculate the lifetime running costs and balance whether a higher upfront purchase could save you more over the item’s lifetime. You should also make sure that any new appliances are the right size for your home and family.

Water saving upgrades

Replacing shower heads and taps to WELS star rated models can drastically reduce water use. Harvested rainwater from your roof can be used in the garden or to flush your toilet (when connected by a registered plumber). Similarly, if you have an older, single-flush toilet upgrading to a dual flush can be a significant water saver. Purchasing a shower timer can help you limit your time in the shower to 3-5 minutes.

Want to know more?

Visit Your Home website, Australia’s independent guide to creating sustainable homes for the future.

Sustainable Living

Try the simple tips to take control of your power bills.

Heating and cooling

Only turn on your heating or cooling in rooms that are in use. During winter keep your room temperature between 18-20oC and in summer, between 25-27oC. Changing the thermostat by 1oC (down in winter and up in summer) can save up to 10% off heating and cooling bills. 

Hot water

The ideal temperature for a hot water service is around 50-60oC. Use a thermometer to test your water temperature and adjust the settings on the hot water system accordingly. Where possible use cold water.

Fridges and freezers

Locating fridges and freezers in cool spots away from direct sun or heat sources such as ovens will reduce the amount of work or energy they need to keep to their set temperature. If you have more than one fridge or freezer operating, consider using it only when needed such as for large events.

Check the temperature of your fridge and freezer. For fridges, it should be between 3-5oC and for freezers between -15 to -18oC. 

Switch off appliances

Appliances not in use can still use power. You can reduce this by switching appliances off at the wall. Older, inefficient appliances could also be increasing your power bill.

Lighting

Open curtains and blinds during the day and replace incandescent lighting with updated LED fixtures that are more energy efficient.

Water Harvesting

Installing a rainwater tank in your garden is an excellent way to reduce the amount of water you use from catchments. Tanks are available in various shapes and sizes.

Rebates are available for a variety of water saving devices including:

  • Rainwater tanks

  • 5 star water rated (WELS) washing machines

  • Pool covers

  • Showerheads

Visit the DEPI website for more information.