When it comes to energy efficiency Australian homes have, historically, performed pretty poorly. But even though it will take decades to replace existing housing stock with homes that comply with current energy efficiency standards, plenty can be done in the meantime to improve home energy performance.

Around 370,000 home renovations are undertaken in Victoria alone each year, and around half of Australia’s home owners expect to renovate their existing home within the next four years. This provides an opportunity to substantially improve the energy performance of both the new and existing parts of the house. Yet research undertaken by Sustainability Victoria shows that:

  • 40% of Victorian renovators fail to fit wall insulation and 72% also fail to add floor insulation.
  • 30% of homes do not have adequate door seals.
  • 56% have inefficient lighting.
  • Only 24% of renovators chose to replace existing windows with double glazed windows.

To help lift the performance of home renovations Sustainability Victoria (SV) has created the Smarter Renovations program. It comprises a number of tools that renovators can use to help plan all types of renovations. And while it is aimed at Victorians, renovators everywhere can benefit from the same tools and adSmarvice.

The Smarter Renovation Planner will, in just a few minutes, give you an idea of not just the cost of different options for improving energy performance, but the annual savings off your energy bills too. Should you improve insulation? Install double glazing? Upgrade your lighting, install draught-proofing or upgrade appliances? The planner will help you decide.

Then it’s time to peruse the inspiring case studies of actual renovations, tour the tips for different house types and download Your Guide to Smarter Renovations.

Even if you aren’t planning a renovation, take a quick tour of the Smarter Renovations website. Simple things like sealing cracks and checking that your insulation is up to scratch hardly qualify as “renovations”, but can deliver big savings in energy for a small outlay. And as SV points out, an energy efficient home isn’t just cheaper to run. It’s more comfortable to live in too.

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