Australian family homes are poised to play a pivotal role in the nation's ambitious target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
At the same time, homeowners can also benefit from substantial cost savings on their power bills.
The path to this greener future lies in energy efficiency upgrades, which have proven to be a cost-effective way to reduce emissions and cut down on energy expenses.
By making smart choices and embracing technological advancements, every household in Australia can contribute to this collective effort.
Energy efficiency is all about maximizing the output from every unit of energy used. Simple changes, such as switching from old-fashioned incandescent lights to modern LED bulbs, can significantly reduce electricity consumption. Additionally, proper insulation can keep homes comfortable during extreme weather conditions, reducing the need for constant heating or cooling.
A report titled "Putting Energy Efficiency to Work," jointly prepared by ANZ and the Energy Efficiency Council, highlights that Australia has not yet fully harnessed the potential of energy efficiency. The report reveals that not only businesses but also households can significantly cut their bills by adopting energy-efficient measures.
With energy bills fluctuating in recent years, many Australians have experienced bill shock.
Unfortunately, Australia ranks poorly among advanced economies for its energy efficiency performance, as assessed by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
To address this, it is crucial to identify the most effective ways to enhance energy efficiency in homes and estimate the potential savings through upgrades and retrofits.
The Australian Council of Social Service and the Brotherhood of St Laurence have undertaken modelling to shed light on the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency upgrades. Their findings suggest that a one-off capital investment of around $2,000 for apartments and $5,000 for houses can lead to average annual savings of $290 for apartments and over $1000 for houses. The investment often pays for itself within a few years, leading to continuous savings for homeowners.
The true energy efficiency stars of the future are homes upgraded from one-star to four-star ratings. Such improvements can yield annual savings of at least $2,275 per household. The biggest opportunities for energy and cost savings lie in the least efficient homes, surpassing those with higher initial ratings.
Fortunately, upgrading to a four-star rating is relatively cost-effective, involving measures like basic draught proofing, insulation installation, and the replacement of inefficient appliances with modern electric ones. This approach can significantly reduce energy consumption and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Heating and cooling are responsible for a substantial portion of energy consumption in Australian homes, ranging from 20 to 50 percent, depending on the climate zone. However, adopting more energy-efficient alternatives can significantly minimize cooling and heating loads.
One such option is reverse cycle air conditioning, which not only provides cooling but also efficient heating. These systems can transform one unit of electrical energy into three to six times the amount of heating or cooling energy, making them highly efficient under mild conditions.
Val.Ai and a trusted Victorian brand are piloting the Home Efficiency technology in 2023 which aims to deliver top improvement recommendations including ROI supporting households in their efforts to lower energy bills and support future insurability.
Taking the first step towards an energy-efficient home is as simple as undertaking a free digital self-assessment with Home Efficiency Australia. This assessment can help homeowners understand their current energy performance and identify areas for improvement. But most importantly reducing the lead time and cost associated with outdated assessment processes.
Embracing energy efficiency not only aids in reducing emissions but also brings financial benefits to homeowners. With collective efforts and a focus on sustainable practices, every Australian family home can become a quiet hero in the journey towards a greener and more sustainable future.
Check out Val.Ai for more information.
This article was written by the team at Val.Ai.