Energy Costs Skyrocketing

I note that energy efficiency has been included in other community forums. But sadly, it does not get enough attention in govt and our building code needs to be stronger…

The ABC reported this year, that Living in seven-star energy-efficient homes would cut Australian energy bills by an average of $450 a year and help address climate change by reducing emissions, according to a new report from the Climate Council. It also helps reduce peak demand, which is where prices soar.

Gayle

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Yes. Expanding on those kinds of schemes is what I’m thinking. NSW focuses on LEDs and heat pumps at present, but their shower head one lapsed a while ago. They could have more impact if designed to reach older and low income people and generally give people more choice of products to install by using voucher or credit systems that could be used to make cheaper choices free or subsidise more expensive installations.

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Absolutely agree on the building codes Gayle. We are so far behind other countries even though few parts of Australia really require heating and cooling in well designed homes. Installation costs of solar are also much lower if integrated into construction, but builders have little incentive to do this.

I think it will be a while before many governments and the construction materials industries think and act like Amory Lovins but I hope we get somewhere close soon.

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There are many reasons for that.

There have been Council and State based campaigns on and off for years, including light-bulb give away and all kinds of approaches. Hardly a month goes by without one of the major media outlets posting an article about how to save on power bills. Branches of government and building industry representatives have had web sites on such topics for ages including material on energy efficient housing. Yet very few seem to have listened to any of it. There comes a time when you have to admit that having lead the horse to water it will not drink no matter what you do.

There are mixed messages from some governments. Last year NSW had a big scheme by the then Planning Minister Stokes to improve housing resource usage. This was one of few systems to address things like roof colour in the planning system. This year after pressure from lobbyists the new Minister the incomparable Anthony Roberts rolled over and quietly killed it with no explanation.

Better resource usage can make the transition away from FF easier but the fact is the major task that absolutely must be done is re-building the energy market and finding a way for FF dependent industries to change or cease. The latter is an essential component of any transition that gets very little air play. What are we going to do with those coal miners? Having got the rough end of the pineapple for a decade the green lobby is intent on getting climate change action done. For all those reasons activists are reluctant to dilute the message until problem #1 is well under control.

It may be that shooting power prices and baking summers is the only thing that will motivate some people. Politicians are not the only ones who can not plan ahead for more than a few weeks.

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