Home Design Guides: Energy and water management, Sustainability

Hot water systems

Which hot water systems are most efficient?

The wrong hot water system can easily account for the lion's share of your electricity consumption. In fact, electric tank systems are being phased out. Find out how different systems compare in terms of efficiency.

Light globe comparison guide

Light globe comparison guide

Check out our comparison guide to see how different types of light globes compare in terms of how much energy they consume, how much light they produce per watt, and what other factors you need to consider.

Calculate heating and cooling costs

How to calculate heating and cooling costs

Heating and cooling can be very expensive, and knowing what you're paying to use your heaters and air conditioners is a good way to rein in your usage. Here's how to calculate your costs.

Efficient air conditioning

Which cooling systems are most efficient?

If you need to artificially cool your home, it's well worth considering how much that'll cost, and what kinds of options you have. Air conditioners are effective, but they're also very energy hungry...

Which heaters are most energy efficient?

There are many different types of heaters, and many different sorts of fuels you can use to heat your home. Find out how each compares in terms of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.

What is energy management?

What is energy management?

Relatively speaking, there’s a tremendous amount of energy used in Australian homes these days. And while our energy consumption is beginning to decrease, we’re still consuming almost twice as much per capita as we did in 1960.

What is water management?

What is water management?

Water management’s the process of assessing how water’s used and abused throughout your home, and then managing and monitoring for increase efficiency. Find out how to improve your water management.

What's a sustainable home?

What's a sustainable home?

Pinning down exactly what constitutes a ‘sustainable home’ isn't easy - but understanding the kinds of things that really matter will help you go a long way towards building one.

Energy management

Energy management

Electricity's the juice on which so many of our favourite things run these days. Lights, heating and cooling, computers, microwaves, refrigerators...

Heating and cooling management

Heaters and air conditioners can easily account for most of your energy consumption if you allow them to. Find out what you can do to minimise the need for artificial heating and cooling, and to reduce your consumption.

Lighting management

Lighting design is something that often gets less attention than it should. A well designed and managed lighting scheme will use far less energy in the long term, and is also likely to be more practical and appealing.

Water management

Water management

Fresh water's a precious resource - more so if it's drinkable, and even more so if you happen to live in one of the drier parts of Australia (which itself is the driest continent on earth after Antarctica).

Draught stoppers and weather strips

Draught stoppers and weather strips

The outside edges of an exterior door in particular can make a significant contribution to your home's overall energy efficiency. See how draught stoppers, weather strips and sweeps can make a difference.

Cold water diverter

Cold water diverters

In most plumbing setups, it takes a while for hot water to reach the hot tap when it's turned on. Cold water diverters recycle the cold water which would otherwise pour down the drain in this time.

Energy efficiency labels

Energy efficiency ratings for hot water

Hot water systems can chew through a lot of energy - and as a result these days they come with energy efficiency ratings to help you understand how best to choose the most efficient model.

Efficiency of different hot water systems

Phase-out of electric tank hot water systems

Electric tank storage hot water systems are notorious for the amount of greenhouse emissions they're responsible for. As a result, they're now being phased out throughout Australia.

LED downlight globe

Light emitting diode (LED) light globes

LED globes, or 'solid state lighting' is fast becoming the lighting of choice thanks to its amazing efficiency and long life.

Compact fluorescent light globe

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)

These lamps are more efficient, readily available and burn far cooler that conventional incandescents and halogen globes.

Automated home lighting

Automated lighting control

Automated lighting involves not just your lights, but also your curtains, which control daylight. Find out how automated lighting can help control your energy usage and improve your home's ambience.

Phase out of incandescent light globes

Phase out of incandescent light globes

The difference between an efficient light globe and an inefficient one is amazing. To prevent unnecessary waste, inefficient incandescent GLS globes are being phased out in Australia.