Building Sustainability Into Your Renovations Part 2

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View Part One (Passive Design, Materials & Waste Reduction) here >

Considering sustainability before you start your renovation and throughout the entire renovation process, not only helps the environment but it will also save you money – now, and in the long run.

Energy use and efficiency

Energy costs continue to rise, as does the threat of rising temperatures. You can future proof your family against rising energy costs by reducing energy usage – and generating your own.

Research – Rebates

Ask your local council or state government about rebates available to offset the upfront cost of energy saving features or solar power. That way, you can get even more cost-effective energy saving measures for your home renovation that will have a lasting impact.

The Alternative Technology Association website also has information available on rebates.

Install Solar Hot Water

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Solar hot water systems are very efficient in using sunlight to heat water and reduce the use of more expensive forms of energy. These days, electric boosted solar hot water systems mean that hot water is possible in your home all year round – even on grey cloudy days. Plus you can save up to $200 per year on the household hot water bill.

Buy Solar Panels

Solar panels will turn the sun hitting your roof into electricity, reduce your impact on the environment, and reduce your electricity bills while increasing the value of your house. Rebates are available to reduce the upfront cost of installation.

Install energy efficient appliances and fixtures

Buying energy efficient products to use in the home is just the beginning of the many ways you can cut household energy use and pollution.  The Sustainable Living Guide has a great list of 12 easy-to-do actions that will save you money as well as save tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere.

Water Use and Re-use

Reduce Water Use in the Home

By choosing water efficient appliances for your renovation, such as washing machines and dishwashers you can still have clean dishes as well as a lower water bill. Leaking taps are one of the biggest culprits in wasted water in Australia and can waste up to 2,000 litres of water each month. If you aren’t particularly handy, ask your plumber during your renovation to attend to your leaky taps at the same time. Sydney Water have some other tips for reducing your water use here.

Rainwater Tanks

Collecting rainwater that can then be used around the home and garden saves you money on your water bill and also provides you with an alternative water supply in times of strict water restrictions. For the keen gardener, this is a wise investment.

Grey Water

Grey water is wastewater from non-toilet plumbing fixtures such as showers, basins and taps. By re-using your greywater you can save money on your water bills and use the water on the garden during drought and times of water restrictions. Grey water can be reused indoors also to reduce the use of water in flushing the toilet.

By investigating and incorporating these tips into your home renovation, you will dramatically reduce your household’s impact on the environment, as well as save yourself money now and in the future.

Resources & further info:

Sustainable Living Guide

Solar Hot Water Sustainable Living Guide

Generate Your Own Energy Wastewater Reuse – Your Home 

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