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6-Star Guide – save money long-term

Posted on January 6, 2017 in Finance , Home Design

6-Star Guide – save money long-term by WA Housing Centre

Discover how following the 6-Star Guide to building an energy efficient home will not only be beneficial to the environment, but will help you save money over the lifecycle of your home.

Achieving a 6-star energy rating doesn’t have to be expensive. Features like orientation, ventilation and insulation can dramatically increase your energy efficiency. It’s all about the affordable, sustainable features to not only make your home more energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint, but to allow you to enjoy the benefits of reduced energy costs for years to come.

What is a Star rating?

Just as household appliances have star-rating systems that measure their energy efficiency, the energy and thermal efficiency of a home also has a nationally recognised star rating system.

On a scale of one to ten, the stars rate the thermal performance capability of homes, or the natural comfort levels one can achieve.

The higher the star rating, the more energy efficient the home is, meaning it has a lesser need for artificial heating or cooling throughout the year. This can dramatically lower energy use, power bills and greenhouse emissions.

At a glance: What a 6-star rating means for you

COMFORT:
Your new home will be up to 5°C warmer in winter, and 10°C cooler in summer.

ENERGY SAVINGS:
Up to 25% increase in energy efficiency.

HOUSEHOLD BUDGET SAVINGS:
Savings of up to $107 per year on energy bills.*

How much will I save?

Exact savings and costs will depend to a degree on block orientation – remember, any investment made to secure a well-orientated block is likely to be less than the cost of installing evaporative air conditioning.

The following are some of the savings estimated for a typical Western Australian 6-star home in comparison to a similar typical 5-star home.

  • 1,090 megajoules (MJ) of gas saved per household per year. In dollar terms this means a saving of around $39 per year (at today’s cost of 12.79c per unit, where 1 unit = 3.6MJ).*
  • 985 MJ (or 274 kilowatt hours – kWh) of electricity saved per household per year. In dollar terms this means a saving of around $68 every year (at today’s cost of 24.88c per kWh which includes a carbon charge of 2.25c per kWh).*

The Bigger Picture

It’s always important to remember how sustainable, energy efficient homes improve our quality of life. Sure, they can save us money, but think about the bigger picture – the added benefits of using less artificial heating and cooling, and relying on natural elements to keep your home comfortable.

  • An improvement in indoor air quality and more constant temperatures year round.
  • The improvements to lighting, ventilation and temperature in more sustainable homes is known to positively affect common physical ailments such as loss of concentration, headaches, eyestrain and feeling tired.
  • Embracing the winter sun in your living areas has a direct relationship to family unity, with families coming together to spend more time in the most comfortable part of the home.
  • Your family will enjoy a greater understanding of how to be more energy efficient around the home.
  • Last but not least, don’t underestimate how good it can feel knowing you are doing your bit to reduce your carbon footprint and look after the earth.

How to achieve a 6-star rating on your home

Achieving a 6-star rating is the culmination of numerous design elements working together. Here are just some of the ways we will increase your home’s energy efficiency.

  • We will consider how the home is oriented on the block and where possible face indoor and outdoor living areas to the north.
  • The bigger the home, the more difficult it is to get higher star ratings. Avoid complex floor plans that can increase the external wall area.
  • We will maximise north windows and minimise western, southern and eastern windows. We will also consider glazing and shading devices, such as verandas and awnings.
  • Insulate ceilings and walls.
  • Floor tiles and concrete floors will increase thermal mass, aiding natural heating and cooling.

At The WA Housing Centre, we take our responsibility to the environment seriously. We have a commitment to providing affordable, sustainable homes, and every home we build has a guaranteed minimum 6-star energy rating.

Our experienced team can help you with all the information you need to ensure your home is as environmentally friendly as possible, just ask.

* Correct as of January 2017