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.
Heritage Places and Solar Technology Guidelines
With the increasing demand for environmentally sustainable energy options, and the introduction of the Council's financial incentives, there has been a corresponding increase in planning applications and enquiries involving the installation of solar panels etc. on heritage-listed places.
Our Heritage & Solar Technology Guidelines have been prepared to help you plan for the installation of a solar system on your heritage
listed property. They include information on solar heat pumps as a viable alternative to solar hot water systems in appropriate circumstances.
If you are contemplating the installation of solar technology you are urged to read the guidelines and to seek informal advice before committing to a particular site and design proposal.
The Hobart City Council’s program of rebates for energy efficiency closed on 30 June 2013. The program consisted of the following rebates:
- A Solar and Heat Pump Hot Water Rebate; a $500 incentive for Hobart ratepayers to install a solar or heat pump hot water system into their homes.
- An Energy Efficiency Development Rebate: an incentive for new buildings or additions meeting a set of energy efficient criteria aimed at encouraging the adoption of the energy efficient building design guidelines, including a rebate of the plumbing fees.
- An Insulation Rebate: 30% of the cost of the installed ceiling insulation, up to a maximum of $300, for landlords installing ceiling insulation into their rental properties.
A total of 770 rebates were provided over the duration of the program from 2007 to 2013, with over 91% being for the Solar and Heat Pump Hot Water Rebate. This has resulted in approximate electricity savings of 1.94 GWh (1,925,000 kWh) per annum for Hobart households with savings on their energy bills of $540,000 per annum.