Sustainable House Day On Sunday, September 17

Sustainable House Day 2017

If you’re looking for energy efficiency ideas for your current home or a new build, check out some of Australia’s most environmentally progressive homes on show on Sustainable House Day this Sunday.

Sustainable House Day, organised by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), has provided an opportunity for Australians to take a peek in and around the nation’s leading green homes for more than 15 years.

Last year’s event saw 17,287 people visit 154 homes across the country. This year, 170 houses will be open across Australia, with up to 20,000 people expected to attend.

“Off-grid living, solar with battery storage, green roofs, hemp walls and innovative energy efficient design are just some of the features people are likely to see on the day,” says the ATA.

Solar Power Pioneers To Open Their Home

Among those participating in the event are suburban sustainability pioneers Stuart McQuire and Wendy Orams, who will open their West Brunswick house to the public (not pictured above).

In 1996, the couple became second household in Australia to install a grid-connected solar power system and since that time, they haven’t had to pay for electricity. The solar panels on their home were actually installed in 1995, but generated nothing for the first six months as there was no Australian Standard for the grid connection.

“CitiPower needed to work out how to do it, basically, and make sure their engineers were happy with how it was done,” said Mr. McQuire.

In 2009, Stuart and Wendy installed a second 1.5kW system. For the last 21 years, the couple have been generating a surplus of solar electricity.

It was households like Stuart and Wendy’s that helped pave the way for the rest of us and trigger the solar revolution that resulted in a huge reduction in the cost of solar panels. Back in 1995, their 2kW solar energy system cost $20,000 – and while the pair’s contribution was $5,000, it represented around 20% of their household income for that year.

Today, $20,000 could purchase 2 – 3 very good quality 5kW solar systems after the solar subsidy, with a large chunk of change left over.

Sustainable House Day certainly isn’t just about tree-hugging warm and fuzzies – it helps to raise awareness that taking a sustainable approach can reduce the costs associated with running a home.

“Sustainable House Day provides a unique opportunity for people to come and learn how to make their own homes more environmentally friendly, comfortable and cheaper to run,” stated Donna Luckman, ATA’s Chief Executive. “Sustainable House Day is a fantastic, fun day and a great opportunity to learn and be inspired.”

To view a listing of homes and register for the event, click here.

Established in 1980, the Alternative Technology Association provides expert, independent advice on sustainable solutions for the home to households, government and industry.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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