Is there a Renewable Energy Giant in your Home?

A reverse cycle air-conditioner is a heat pump that can keep you: cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. When used as a heater on a cold day, heat pumps draw heat from the cold outside air and pump it into your house.  Modern heat pumps do this very efficiently.  As heaters, they can: use one unit of energy to run electric pumps and fans, and deliver from 3 to 6  units of energy to  warm the air in your house, energy gathered from the sun-warmed but cold-feeling air outside your house. You get lots of energy by using a little energy.  That’s super efficiency. You can have the electricity powering the heat pump come from renewables by buying accredited Green Power or using your own rooftop solar panels.   This post is mostly presentation slides created by Tim Forcey, a BZE author, energy advisor, and author of many publications on this topic. It is about heat pumps, including: how they work, how much cheaper they can be compared with gas heating, links to further reading, and several case studies.   Why is this presentation needed? 1).  Save money! Many Australians are unaware that when they installed a reverse-cycle air conditioner to keep their home cool during a few days in summer, they also installed a space-heater than can heat their home more cheaply than gas for months-on-end in winter. 2).  Heat with renewable energy! Many Australians don’t realise that the heat coming out of a reverse-cycle air conditioner (known elsewhere in the world as a heat pump) can be from 50% to 100% renewable energy.    Overseas, reverse-cycle air conditioners...

Energy Freedom News: 1 January 2016

Energy Freedom News: January 2016 COP21 Paris, Energy Freedom core to Zero Carbon Communities, Our Gas Exit Strategy, Batteries Bonanza and Glen Waverley Energy Freedom. Energy Freedom Partner and Supporter Specials Sustainable  Construction Services 10-15% discount on selected windows and doors. Cherry LED LED’s  that pay for themselves in a year. Siddons Bolt-On Hot Water Portable Heat Pump HW on affordable finance. Sun Edison Energy Matters $150 off. Promote your Energy upgrade business here – info@bze.org.au Register with the Energy Freedom program – good for you, good for business! Energy Switch – do it today. Post Paris –  Cities, Residents will be the change In an effort to bridge the 1.5+ degrees gap in national emissions targets, it is now very clear that it is city’s and region’s renewable energy targets that are making the commitments that count, with cities already pledging targets the equivalent of 50% of the gap. With the highest rate of rooftop solar pv installation in the world being in Australia, this is a big part of the secret to how the mayors of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Byron were able to take to Paris impressive long term zero and low carbon emissions targets, adding to the now unstoppable renewables momentum signalled at COP21. If you own rooftop pv, or have done home fuel switching, please take a bow. Please share the Energy Freedom story – there are still millions of Australian rooftops that are yet to ‘put solar on it’ or ‘Fuel and Energy Switch’ and even more yet to play their part via Energy Freedom energy upgrade retrofits. Zero Carbon Communities Cities, towns and communities that have 100%...

Lee’s place Glen Waverley

Energy Freedom Story – Lee from Glen Waverley. Each Energy Freedom newsletter features a new Energy Freedom story. This time we look at a real work in progress, with several of the 9 steps in total done and several to be completed – thankyou to Lee and family at Glen Waverley, Victoria. ‘We are a family of 4 and having recently moved into a property in Glen Waverly we were looking at the quickest and most effective things we could do to reduce emissions and save money.   LED’s Switching every bulb to LED seemed like the obvious first thing to do first. We had 30 + bulbs consuming an average of 60 watts which were reduced to 10 watts by fitting LEDs. This was a good start with an 80% reduction in energy consumption. We also put new insulation in the roof which helped to keep a bit more heat in the house during winter and a little cooler in the summer. SOLAR Next up was installing 3KW of solar panels on the roof.  Given our roof layout, budget and energy requirements this looked like the best option. We went with Enphase microinverters to ensure maximum efficiency of the panels. The whole system was installed painlessly in a couple of days. A month before the installation we had joined Powershop so we had already been able to accurately track, with their app, exactly how much energy we had been using. We could see exactly when we were using electricity and work out where. The day after the solar went in the drop was huge, on an average day it was 60%...

DIY videos a great way to learn more about achieving Energy Freedom!

Pop quiz!  Are you the “do it yourself” type? Q1: I have a shed. Yes/No Q2: I own more than five tools. Yes/No Q3: My skills extend beyond mounting IKEA furniture. Yes/No If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you’re likely a bonafide DIY-er! And YouTube is full of great instructional videos for people like you to tackle each step of achieving energy freedom. We recommend bringing in the big guns (the experts) when things get hairy, but check out this video series from The DIY World featuring of a couple of friends installing solar panels on a family home’s rooftop....

Energy Freedom Home guidebook launch

Energy Freedom Home book launch heralds the start of spring It was an absolutely stunning spring day, and the Keech family home and garden was packed with visitors. They had come to celebrate the launch of the newly published book, The Energy-Freedom Home. And what better place to launch a book about achieving Energy Freedom than at an Energy Freedom home?  Keynote speakers Tanya Ha (environmentalist and best-selling author) and Adam Bandt (Federal Greens Member for Melbourne) spoke passionately about the need for more support for home-owners, in particular low-income families, to improve the energy efficiency of their home and install solar. Richard spoke about co-authoring the book with Beyond Zero Emissions in order to share practical tips on how to achieve energy freedom. Touring a 1913 home that produces more energy than it consumes The Keech family, Richard and his wife Kate, as well as their 18-year old daughter Emma, spent all day guiding tours through their home and detailing the transformation from draughty, leaky period home, to comfortable, energy efficient sanctuary with no energy bills! Tour highlights included preserving the heritage stained glass windows with secondary glazing, the three solar arrays that produce 5 kw of electricity fed back into the grid, two plug-in cars (one fully electric, one hybrid), and of course the adorable chooks in the garden. About the book The Energy-Freedom Home explains nine steps that can be taken to transform Australian homes. Containing detailed, easy-to-follow descriptions of practical problems and solutions, plus over 120 colour photographs and diagrams, The Energy-Freedom Home is the perfect guide to help home-owners liberate themselves from costly and...

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