The house has a reverse cycle system in the living room.
I live in a rented house, so did not choose.
Running cost is a major concern. I have added a
removable reflective product to the east and west windows to reduce the need for cooling and heating.
When I lived in Canberra we installed a ducted evaporative cooling system and that was fantastic. The night in Canberra are quite cool, so if you can really cool the house down overnight, it stays quite cool during the day (and we had added insulation to floors and walls etc to reduce heat transfer). Often we would just use the fan function at night without needing to cool, and that was enough to last through the next day. That works best in places with large day/night temperature swings and the cooler is best in low humidity.
When you rent you get what you're given, and usually is less than adequate and expensive. Subsidies for landlords (and home owners) to add insulation would be great.
Also, a penalty fee on new homes that are not built as well as they could be to reduce energy costs (e.g. poor orientation, west and east windows). Or perhaps incentives to do the opposite, including reducing drafts and air flow. New homes are regularly built with air-con installed--there is an assumption they everyone with have it and use it, and it means that builders can be slack, and (rich) buyers can be blase about poor building.