Energy saving tips for your renovation

Renovating its a good time to put in some energyefficient additions  171 6009772 0 14102284 300

Owning and overhauling a property can be one of life's biggest challenges - as well as one of the most rewarding. Seeing your dream property transform before you eyes can be an attractive prospect for many Australians. Whether you are undertaking a major project or making some minor adjustments to your home, the final result can be something you'll never want to leave. According to Westpac's Renovation Report, renovations have increased 147 per cent since 2010 - and this shouldn't just be for aesthetic purposes. 

Renovating your home offers an ideal opportunity to make smarter energy choices. By improving the way your household consumes energy, you can reduce the amount you pay to gas and electricity suppliers - and make the investment in a more comfortable home worth the money. Australians have been jumping on this bandwagon over the past few years. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 31 per cent of households undertook energy efficiency improvements to their home between April 2012 and March 2013. 

If you're intending to renovate your property, here are some tips that could improve its energy efficiency in the long run.

Major projects

For major renovations, you're likely going to be making some serious changes to your home. This might mean big structural adjustments, such as adding extra rooms or widening others. This will give you access to part of your home that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to touch: Walls and ceilings. You don't often get the opportunity to see the inside of these features, so it's a great time to check the state and level of insulation throughout the home. 

It's often a once-in-a-lifetime improvement that can boost the comfort and energy efficiency of your house considerably - in fact, ceiling insulation alone can shave 20 per cent off the cost of running a home, according to the Victorian government. This doesn't necessarily mean replacing all the insulating material. You can top up insulation where it has been moved or settled.

The type of material will vary between houses. For example, an older home may require a bulkier selection, while a more modern property might require a simple top up with a less dense variety. Check with your builder about what category will work best for your home and its surrounds. 

Minor changes

If you're planning on making minor changes to your home, there are a few things you can do to boost its energy efficiency. You might be upgrading a bathroom or extending a kitchen or living area. Each of these rooms uses a substantial amount of energy through heating water, constant appliance use and gas cooking, so it can be a great time to start small. Appliances make up around one-third of your home's energy bill according to the Department of Industry and Science, so why not cut down in the long term by selecting energy efficient whitegoods to go with your new-look property?

The fridge is one of the appliances your household will use most heavily. All homes need one to keep food fresh - but not all are created equal. The Energy Star rating can be a useful guide to purchasing cost-effective models. According to the Victorian government, for every extra star on the label, you can save around 25 per cent in running costs. During a kitchen renovation, you can also think about where to position the appliances. A fridge that is placed near an oven will need to work harder to remain cold and use more energy. 

Now that you've got some idea about the energy efficient measures you can take in your home renovations, you can also think about doing an electricity comparison. By enlisting the help of a switching service like Make It Cheaper, you can find an energy deal that better suits your home's new features. 

Posted by Jeremy Elliott