What is Energy Efficient Design?
Home-owners pay hundreds of dollars more than they need to each year in heating and/or cooling bills because they are not taking advantage of free heating and cooling from energy efficient building design and using energy efficiently.
Energy efficient design is all about the creation of homes that are comfortable for people to live in all year round. That is, naturally cool in summer and warm in winter without the need to use costly and time consuming energy sources. Temperature and light are maintained at comfortable levels with a minimum requirement for active systems such as heaters, air conditioners and daytime lighting.
Using energy efficiently is the best way to reduce energy bills and environmental impacts while maintaining or even improving comfort levels. Some solutions cost nothing at all. Most investments in energy efficiency will pay for themselves through lower energy bills.
Energy efficiency has many benefits for home owners:
- Given that Tasmania is connected to the National Electricity Grid via Basslink, energy savings through energy efficient design and efficient use of energy now have a direct greenhouse gas reduction benefit;
- Save money if the sun heats and lights your home, your power bills are significantly reduced;
- Less effort if passive design features heat your home; tasks such as wood stacking and splitting are significantly reduced.
Energy Efficient Design Guidelines
In April 2001 Hobart City Council launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging energy efficient new houses and home extensions.
A set of Energy Efficient Design Guidelines is available for prospective home builders and designers. The guidelines cover the range of considerations from an analysis of the site and the opportunities it presents for energy efficient design, through to building orientation and layout, ventilation/cooling, insulation and landscaping.
The guidelines identify the key principles in using the sun's energy and are intended to promote understanding of how to use the sun's energy during the building design stage to achieve energy efficiency. The practice of energy efficient design will help reduce demand on non-renewable energy resources consumed by the heating and cooling of buildings.
Printed guidelines are also available (at no cost) from the customer counter of the Hobart Council Centre, on the corner of Elizabeth and Davey Streets.