7 energy efficiency tips for building & renovating

If you’re considering building or renovating, creating an energy efficient home from the very start will not only help save you money on reduced electricity usage, but also add value to your property in the long run. Read on for a list of tips that can help improve the energy efficiency of your property.

1. Get your home’s orientation right

If you’re starting a new build, consider where you spend the most amount of time so you can take advantage of the sun’s position. The northerly side of the house catches the sun for the longest time during the day, making it a perfect spot to position your living areas – whether you’re at home on the weekdays or for catching some weekend sun.

Positioning your home with north-facing sun also means the southerly side will be cooler – making it a great place for bedrooms so it’s easier to sleep at night.

2. Take advantage of solar power

The lucky country is blessed with sunshine, and a solar system could help you to generate renewable energy and reduce your electricity bills. Not sure where to start? We’ve installed over one million solar panels to date – so we have the experience to help you find the system that’s right for you.

3. Insulate and benefit all year round

Insulation may seem like the least ‘high-tech’ solution out of all home renovation options, but the difference it makes is one you’ll feel all year round.

Stay cool in summer and warm in winter by investing in insulation – by installing it in the walls, ceiling and even floors of your home (where possible), it’ll reduce the strain on your air conditioning or heating system and save you money on your energy bills no matter what season it is.  

4. Upgrade your hot water system

If you’re renovating, one thing you shouldn’t overlook is your hot water system. If your system’s over 12 years old, then it’s time to look for a replacement.

The average expected lifespan of a hot water system is 12.5 years and current systems are much more efficient in heating water and therefore can work to reduce your overall energy use.  

5. Smart gadgets for energy efficiency

Energy saving technology is becoming increasingly popular – from devices like the Google Nest, where you can control your home’s temperature to conserve energy with its self-learning Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, to WeMo Insight Smart Plugs that let you control your appliances remotely. Smart tech can be a fun way to bring energy awareness into your home.

6. Find the right energy plan

One of the easiest ways to reduce energy costs is to power your home with an energy plan that is right for your needs. Always compare your electricity and gas plans to find out which is best suited for your household.

Don’t forget Origin also offers a green energy option to reduce the environmental impact of your energy consumption. 

7. Upgrade gas & electrical appliances 

Every extra star on the labels of appliances will help you save up to 30% on running costs, depending on the product.

Even though an appliance with fewer stars can be cheaper upfront, choosing high star-rated models will save you more money in the long run. Also consider gas ovens and cooktops, they’re often cheaper to run than electric versions. 

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