the eco-friendly way to live
Bushfires, flooding, cyclones… Australia has been hard hit by natural disasters in recent years, and homeowners are struggling to stay on top of the ever-increasing cost of insurance and repairs.
Meanwhile, Aussies are also growing a conscience when it comes to natural resources, renewable energy and preserving the environment. So it’s little wonder we have seen a huge increase in the use of renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panelling.
In the last ten years, renewable energy generation has doubled, now sitting at 21% of Australia’s total electricity generation. With small-scale solar generation (installation of solar panels on residential properties) growing by 25% in 2019, and an average of 44% over the last ten years, it’s safe to say homeowners are dedicated to leading lives that have a less harmful impact on the environment – and are cost effective too.
Australian electricity generation from renewable sources (via the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, 2020)
Green buildings, eco-friendly houses, sustainable homes – whatever you know them as, these structures have become widely popular among aspiring and long-time homeowners Australia-wide.
What is a Sustainable Home?
Sustainable homes are eco-friendly buildings intended to be self-sufficient and have a limited effect on the environment. Their design takes into account natural resources such as light, earth and wind, allowing homeowners and residents to lower their carbon footprint by reducing the power and heat typically consumed in a regular household.
Features also include consideration of shade (such as verandahs and eaves), insulation in walls and ceilings, positioning of windows, doors and rooms (finding advantage in breeze and natural light) and use of lightweight and renewable building materials.
Benefits of Eco-Friendly Homes
Let’s break this down. When it comes to quality, longevity, health and wellbeing, natural is best. That said, there are five principles that sustainable homes offer that are highly beneficial from day one:
1. Energy and water efficiency
2. Reduced carbon footprint
3. Increased property value
4. Better air-quality
5. Low operating costs
Need we say more?
Cost of Living
Sustainable homes need not attract eco-minded homeowners alone. If you’re looking to save some money, establishing an environmentally friendly household is the way to go for long-term savings. And what homeowner doesn’t want that?
Because the materials are generally easily accessible and can be sourced locally, building an eco-friendly home or changing the way your current house uses electricity, gas and so forth is not only gentle on the environment, but is quite cost effective. By using renewable energy, day-to-day living is reduced significantly, saving anywhere between 20-30% on your monthly bill.
For those conscious of the costs involved in running an air-conditioner, you can consider insulation using earthbags, recyclables, logs, stones, bamboo or straw. Not only will this provide a consistent temperature in your home, but the materials are easily sourced in most areas of Australia, and are regarded as being less impactful upon the environment.
With many buyers looking to live in their house long-term, or rent out their investment property for the years to come, homeowners should consider the costs involved in maintaining their property.
As sustainable homes are built using green materials, they are considerably durable and form a structure that is designed to last a long time. These homes demand less maintenance – which means less money spent on repairs and a higher property value in the future when it comes time to sell. Appealing, right?
Eco-friendly homes also offer lower maintenance requirements, reduced waste, reduced expenses and overall better health – not to mention peace of mind.
So whether you’re looking to buy your first home, upgrading, downsizing, or building a new home, consider the significant moolah you could be saving by living in an eco-friendly home.