Here’s an energy efficiency story from one of our members, Grace.
I am very lucky to be a personal friend of Vicky – an expert in efficiency and qualified carbon manager, and a contributor to the CoPower blog! When my partner and I bought our house in late 2022, Vicky visited and gave suggestions on short-, medium- and long-term plans for how we can improve its efficiency.
So far, we have focused on ways we can maintain a stable temperature so that we don’t have to use as much heating and cooling throughout the year. We retrofitted secondary glazing to the west facing window in our bedroom and have plans to do the same on the front windows of our house (north-east facing) one at a time to spread costs. We have aluminium windows at the back of the house that get considerable afternoon sun, so we have put up shade cloth that we can roll up for winter and let down during summer. It makes a huge difference in keeping the house at comfortable temperature on hot days and I think it could be something that is practical for renters as it doesn’t have to be permanently affixed and is very effective.
In our old rental house, multiple interior doors between kitchen, hallway and living room had been previously removed to create an “open plan” feel. We didn’t have access to the doors to refit them so we hung blankets in their place to zone the house so that we could just heat the front of the house where the main living room was – as we spent most of the time there. We then closed the heating vents in the back half of the house. This helped us keep the heating bill manageable as we were not losing as much heat to areas we weren’t using. We also made use of more efficient electric heaters where possible rather than using the gas ducted heating. Lastly, we have covers for the evaporative cooling vents to help prevent warm air escaping into the roof cavity during winter.
*This is part of a series of CoPower members sharing stories with other members on saving energy. Your circumstances may differ, and each member’s experience might not be appropriate for your context. We encourage all members to share their stories here: https://bit.ly/EnergyStories.