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    Tips to Reduce Energy Consumption to Zero

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    If you’re looking to reduce your energy usage to zero, there are a few things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. First and foremost, it’s important to get the design of your home right and make it airtight. This can be a challenge, especially if you’re on a budget. However, even the most energy efficient appliances won’t make up for a poorly constructed building.

    One way to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to upgrade its thermal shell. This includes the external walls, ground floor, and roof. You can increase air tightness by sealing gaps left by old vents and around doors and windows. Additionally, adding insulation, shading to north and west facing windows, and upgrading old windows to UPVC frames and double glazed can also help improve your home’s thermal shell. When renovating, it’s important to remember the saying “insulate tight, ventilate right”.

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    An efficient thermal shell makes it easier to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter, which in turn reduces energy bills and carbon emissions. In fact, approximately 40% of household energy is used for heating and cooling. By implementing effective, climate-appropriate design, this could be cut to almost zero.

    In Australia, implementing the recently updated National Construction Code will help ensure that new homes and major renovations are built with efficient thermal shells. However, as most Australian homes were built before any energy performance standards existed, many households are being exposed to either unsafe temperatures or high bills. While homeowners have some ability to renovate their homes’ thermal shell, this is not an option for the more than 30% of Australians who rent.

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    People on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of poorly built homes. A recent report by the Australian Council for Social Services found that nearly two-thirds of those on income support have difficulty keeping their homes cool in summer. By prioritizing energy efficiency and making changes where possible, we can all work towards reducing our energy usage and creating a more sustainable future.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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