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.

Roof load bearing capacity

Load bearing capacity is another crucial consideration for roofs. It determines what sort of roofing materials can be used, and whether things like solar panels can be safely roof-mounted.

Solar shingles

They're not particularly common, but it's possible these days to build part or all of a roof using shingles with solar photovoltaic panels built into them. Learn more about this enticing new technology.

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.

A smart power meter

Smart meters

If you'd like to feed electricity back into the grid, you'll need a bi-directional smart meter to do so. Find out how this process works, and what role the smart meter plays.

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.

How to choose recycled timber decking

Using recycled timber for your decking offers an excellent way to reduce your environmental footprint, and to make use of well seasoned wood with an attractive patina.

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.

Water efficiency ratings for dishwashers

Dishwashers are typically rated using a star ratings system known as WELS. Find out more about WELS, and what makes for water efficient dishwashers.

Energy efficient kitchen appliances

How to choose energy efficient kitchen appliances

There's a huge, yawning gap between efficient and inefficient kitchen appliances these days. Find out what you should be considering when you choose appliances.

Solar photovoltaic panels

Everything you need to know about solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, including how they work, what types exist, what affects their output, how they need to be installed and more.

A solar inverter

DC to AC inverters for solar and wind power

AC inverters are necessary to convert the direct current (DC) generated by your solar panels or wind turbine to an alternating current (AC). Read more about how they work, what sort you'll need and how they're installed.

Regulators or charge controllers

Regulators - also known as 'charge controllers' help to regulate the flow of current to battery banks. Read about how the right regulator will help to protect and prolong the life of your battery bank.

Battery bank storage systems

A battery bank will help to ensure that you always have enough power, no matter how little wind there is at any given time. Find out more about battery banks, and what type will suit your requirements.