Energy Saving Guide for Households

ClimateWorks, an independent non profit consulting company based at Monash University. In partnership with CSIRO they have  produced a detailed guide to assist Victorian households lower their Carbon Emissions. The PDF version of the report “Low Carbon Lifestyles A Practical Guide for Households” is available here. Of interest the report highlights how effective a Solar PV system can be at reducing a family’s emissions. Also high on the list is Celling, floor and wall insulation, draft stopping and how important it is to choose the highest energy efficiency rated appliance (TV, fridge, dishwasher and washing machine being notable examples). Windows lose a lot of heat and there are ways to reduce this.  Also in the report,” how to achieve zero emissions and still come ahead financially”.

The report does not discuss transport options or carbon offsets much but I suppose you don’t have to be very smart to figure out that massive emissions savings are to be had by cycling and using public transport. When I was an apprentice, and my van died and I couldn’t afford a new one I was riding to work everyday. In winter I’d start when it was still dark, ride 5km from Chewton the Castlemaine train station, get the train to Kangaroo Flat and then ride another 2km to my work. We would then drive somewhere for a solar install maybe Shepparton, then drive back to Bendigo, then I’d cycle to Kangaroo Flat station, then train to Castlemaine and then cycle home to Chewton. Then wake up the next day and do it all again. All for less than $500 a week! It sounds hard, but the riding part was great, I was really fit and healthy and as long as I was wearing gloves and a scarf never too cold.

Now most of my work is close to home and I need the vehicle to carry tools and parts so the car is essential. Carbon offsets, usually in the form of tree planting is also a great way to help become carbon neutral.