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Tips for a more Energy Efficient Home

Solar Hot Water

Take advantage of the sun’s free rays to subsidise your hot water costs. Enjoy guilt free showers while the cost of power goes up.

Solar Design

Making good use of materials correctly orientated to the sun to reduce your heating costs. Thermal mass walls and insulated concrete floors collect warmth during the day and disperse it at night.

Insulation 

Use the maximum insulation available to the roof, wall and floor cavities. This will make a great difference in reducing your costs for heating and cooling by improving the balance of temperature in your home between night and day and between the seasons. We can also incorporate thermal bridging breaks in the structure to reduce heat loss

Double Glazing 

This is essential if you want to achieve good thermal performance for your home. It works in association with good insulation and helps control humidity and noise. Well fitting curtains and blinds also improve thermal performance.

Lighting 

Before thinking about energy efficient lights, make sure that you utilise natural daylight as best as possible. It’s free, it feels good and it’s the ultimate sustainable choice. For artificial lighting avoid excessive numbers of down-lights. They use a lot more electricity and can allow heat to escape. Use ceiling mounted or wall lights with long life bulbs.

Appliances 

Your choice of appliances makes a difference. There are now many modern appliances available with good energy and water efficiency ratings.

Heating 

There are many options to adequately heat your home. Heart of Green will advise on the best option to suit your design and budget.

Water use 

Installing a “Water-smart” gully system allows your grey water to be reused for garden irrigation. This reduces sewerage waste and irrigation costs. In addition or alternatively, use water storage tanks to provide irrigation to the garden and provide water to toilets.

Building Materials 

Choosing locally manufactured products not only encourages New Zealand enterprise, but also are good for the environment. Transportation is the single biggest user of fossil fuels and contributor to global warming. Consideration of the lifecycle of products is also important. How will these materials eventually be disposed of? Demolition materials make up a large proportion of all solid waste.


There are many more considerations that will be particular to your requirements and location. We discuss these in depth with you in conjunction with all the elements that make up the design of your new home. In choosing to be “eco” in some way, you can still have an aesthetically pleasing modern house. Initial capital cost may be higher at the time of building, but over the life of the building will produce savings. We also encourage you to look at what is really important. A well-designed house that is say 20sq.m smaller may cover the cost of extra insulation, solar hot water and double-glazing. And you get your investment usually back on day 1: Recent overseas research with real estate companies have proven that people are prepared to pay a premium of between 5-10% for a house which is energy efficient and sustainable.   


Visit these websites for more info: 

www.solarsmarter.org.nz

www.beaconpathway.co.nz

www.smarterhomes.org.nz

www.eeca.co.nz