The most expensive ongoing costs for a house are the power bills. So it's surprising that people doing renovations give little focus to implementing energy efficient systems that reduce their electricity and gas usage. Too often are we caught up in whether the shade of paint we've used in the kitchen matches the marble bench, totally forgetting about how much power the place requires.

Sure, we might go out and buy energy efficient appliances, such as a dish washer and washing machine with a 4 star energy rating. But even the best brands can still wind up draining your power and causing you constant financial heartache.

Shop around for a good power supplier

With electricity prices seeing record increases, shopping around for the best deal is a necessity. With so many companies supplying power, you can find competitive rates outside of the major players.

Australian Power and Gas arrived on the scene a number of years ago and focus on direct marketing to individuals, rather than costly advertising on TV or other mediums. And because of this, they can pass a much bigger saving on to the customer.

Take special note of their Prompt Payment Discount, which saves you money off your bill simply by paying on time. This was originally 5%, but now with their Smart Saver 20, you get a massive 20% discount off your electricity and gas bills when you pay them on time. Highly recommended!

Australian Hydronic Supplies provides hydronic heating systems which are some of the most cost efficient technology when it comes to heating your home or office. It uses water as the heat transfer medium and circulates it through tubes in walls and floors to heat these surfaces. Because of this, it's also one of the most comfortable solutions making every room feel warm and cosy.

solar-panels-on-roofImplement a solar energy strategy

Solar power is regarded as the most efficient energy source for powering homes, however the initial upfront costs made it less enticing for people to switch over. But over the years, advances in solar technology have not only made it more effective, but also reduced costs, putting it in the reach of many more people.

If you're in an apartment then body corporate rules may prevent you from installing solar panels, but for house owners, panels are a great investment.

Cola Solar is a family owned Australian business, aimed at providing the best quality solar products that will really look after the environment. You can choose to connect to the grid,  sending power to an inverter to run your appliances. And if you have any power leftover, you actually get credit on your bill! Alternatively, hybrid solar power stores unused power on your battery, which then can be used at night, when the panels aren't working. Thirdly, off-grid ensures people in rural areas can still implement these systems.

Setting up your electrical services around the home optimally can also help reduce your running costs. Installing energy efficient lights can save lots of energy and are better for the environment. Maintaining your wiring system will also improve your home, much in the same way that you fix a leaky tap. Home automation and switchboard upgrades will also provide benefits. MBE is one such electrician that specialises in these types of works.

electrician-helping-energy-usage

In hot Australian summers, air conditioning units use up an amazing amount of electricity. Even the most economical systems can chew through the power and wreak havoc with your bills. So if you're in a location that gets really hot summers, installing a solar air conditioner could be one of the best things you do. An advanced system can reduce electricity bills by up to 80% and can pay for itself within 2 years. Plus the reduction of greenhouse gases will let you feel nice and cold, without feeling guilty!

Solar control films can also be applied to windows to reduce the exposure of direct sunlight. This in turn drastically reduces your power bills and slows any fading of your furniture from the sun. Both safre and environmentally friendly, solar films can reduce your energy consumption...for more information visit All About Window Tinting or Kustom Window Tinting.

Both the above businesses also offer tinting for cars. And speaking of vehicles, Melbourne Repair Centre offer resprays that help you reduce your carbon footprint. They use a waterbase paint system which is virtually odourless and thanks to the slow solvent emission, it means they are less harmful to the environment.

sustainable-designsGet Your House Designed for Sustainability

If you are getting a new house built or are thinking of adding to the home via way of a renovation or extension, you should definitely consider looking at a design that is eco-friendly. This will also help conserve energy as you will maximise the environmental benefits around the home.

Some things to consider include:

  • Shape of room - this will help control the internal temperature
  • Room positioning - design to get optimum sunlight for key rooms
  • Insulation - helps you save on heating and cooling costs
  • Windows - position them effectively and have appropriate sizes and glazings on certain sides
  • Smart Colors - darker colours attract heat, use them wisely

The above points are just a few ideas. Finding a suitable designer or architect who specialises in energy efficient houses is important if you're looking to go down this road. Georgiev Sustainable Architects is one such company, using sustainable architecture practices on both residential and commercial projects in Melbourne.

Once the house is designed you need to organise a company to build it. Important traits to look for in a construction company include reputation, efficiency, reliability and experience. Anything less should not be an option.

Peter White Constructions is a family owned business that ticks all those boxes. From building a new home to renovating the kitchen or making a new deck outside, they will stick with you all the way along the process, listening to your feedback and providing their own advice to make your home better.

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