Home Design Guides: Sustainability, Energy and water management

BCA lighting restrictions

Regulations exist in Australia to determine how much electricity you're allowed to use for lighting in your home, based on floor areas. Find out what's allowed and how to make the most of it.

Lifespan, energy use and cost of light globes

Lifespan, energy use and cost of light globes

To really consider how 'efficient' different types of globes are compared to others, it's important to look beyond basic consumption. How long will they last? Will the added expense pay itself off in energy savings?

MEPS label

MEPS labels and ratings for air conditioners

Air conditioners come with labels these days that indicate how efficiently they're able to cool (and to heat, if they're reverse-cycle models). Find out more about these labels and what to look for.

WELS labels and ratings

Water-producing bathroom fittings in Australia need to comply with basic water-efficiency standards. As a part of the WELS scheme, they are rated and given a label that shows how efficient they are.

Home automation and energy consumption

Smart home automation systems can do a great deal not only to make your home comfortable and secure, but also to ensure that your lighting, climate control and other systems are set up for maximum efficiency.

Rainwater collection and storage

Instead of allowing it to run down the drain, rainwater can be collected to use on gardens. Find out more about how rainwater collection and storage can help improve your home's efficiency.

An energy management dashboard

Energy management systems

Energy management works best when you're able to see exactly how much is being consumed, and where it's being consumed. Find out what sorts of systems will help you to achieve this.

What is a power vampire?

Power vampires cost Australians a lot of money each year. 'Power vampire' is another name for an appliance with an inefficient power supply, which uses electricity even when it's not switched on.

Common power-wasting appliances and scenarios

Certain scenarios around the house - and some appliances in particular - are notoriously inefficient. Understanding how energy's being used and avoiding waste is the most basic type of energy management.

What is GreenPower?

Electricity you buy from an energy supplier needs to be generated somehow. For a small cost, these days you can choose whether or not you'd like some or all of it to come from renewable sources.

Switches and manual controls

Manual lighting controls obviously help regulate how much energy you're using, and dimmers again can reduce the amount of energy being consumed. A warning though - some do consume extra power.

Demand response and load shedding

Depending on where you live and what electrical hardware you have, your local power authority may be able to control your lighting or appliances to prevent blackouts.

Pipe lagging

Lagging and heat loss

See how lagging (insulation) and the distance that hot water has to travel through your pipes can affect energy efficiency in your hot water system.

Grey water systems

Just because water from the tap has been used, it doesn't mean it can't be used again. See how grey water systems can help reduce your water waste.

How to get the most out of your solar system

Want to make sure your system's set up at its absolute best, and always giving you as much as possible? Here's a guide to ensuring your solar system's always working its hardest for your home.