Energy Efficieny Workshop


The biggest differences we can make to our home energy use:

  • Changing to solar hot water (traditional solar is more efficient than a Heat Pump)
  • Installing ceiling insulation (R3+), using well-fitted window coverings
  • Using ceiling & portable fans instead of air-con (reverse ceiling fans help in winter too)
  • Switching all appliances off at the powerpoint whenever possible (use multi-switch powerboards or Eco Switch)
  • Turning off second fridges & freezers
  • Using a ‘solar drier’ or airer instead of a tumble drier

Tips & Tricks  (more at

  • Insulate hot water pipes with lagging.  It’s easy & inexpensive!
  • Set your fridge to 5°C. Set your freezer to -16°C. Invest in a fridge/freezer thermometer if you don’t have one built-in.
  • Check your fridge seal regularly.  Find a $5 note, open the door & close it with the note in the seal.  If the note slides out easily, you need to replace your seal.
  • Consider a solar tube light for dark rooms.  They can provide the equivalent of 100W of light in Winter & 500W in Summer!
  • Low voltage lighting does not mean low energy!  It’s the Watts that count.  Replace halogens with LEDs where possible.
  • Install a timer on your electric storage or electric-boosted solar hot water system.
  • Make your next computer a laptop: they consume 90% less energy than desktop PCs!
  • Plasma TVs are energy vampires!  Choose an LED when you next upgrade.  Compare new appliance energy ratings.
  • Seal gaps in your home with caulking gun, weather-strips & door sweeps.  Do a draught audit by holding an incense stick next to doors/windows.  Smoke blowing indicates problems.


Passive solar home design

Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)

Building Commission

Josh Byrne’s 10* house

Your Home Technical Manual

Local eco-minded architects/designers:  Archterra, Tom Dowling, Lance Brandes

Renewable Energy

ReNew Magazine by the Alternative Technology Association (in Margaret River Library)

Calculate the cost of switching to Synergy’s ‘Easy Green’ or ‘Natural Power’

Australian Clean Energy Council’s Consumer Guide to Photovoltaics – Pdf download.

Small scale solar supplies & information (camping etc) in Perth