RACV has secured the CSIRO’s top energy efficiency researcher to talk home energy and the difference one household can make at its free family Sustainable House Day event on September 17.
Dr Stephen White leads CSIRO’s energy efficiency research, is a program leader in the Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre and is on the advisory panel for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
He says that people learn best from each other in a social setting, and that events like Sustainable House Day “make it fun and make it real”.
“We are already seeing the effects of lots of people taking small action. For example, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on people’s roofs is now a major contributor to electricity production around the nation – the most of any country in the world. And household demand for energy across the nation is visibly down over the last five years.
“Clearly one household among eight million Australian households can only make a very small difference to the environment. But it all matters, and eventually everyone will have to contribute or we won’t be able to hand over much to our children and grandchildren.”
Dr White nominates solar PV panels as the technology that will make the greatest difference to sustainability in the next 10 years. He says there are many low-cost energy-saving technologies available, and many are free.
“But the one that you can keep on adding more and more of – for maximum impact – is solar PV panels. With solar you can be a net zero energy household.”
Dr White will be joined for Sustainable House Day at RACV Inverloch Resort by RACV experts hosting information sessions on ‘What is a sustainable house’ and ‘Is solar really that complicated?’.
There will be tours of the resort’s solar-powered villas, kids’ activities, music and a barbecue.
Anyone can attend the free event, but you must register at racv.com.au/shd.
Ten stars for energy
At Cape Paterson, just 13 kilometres from Inverloch, a whole street of innovative homes will be open to the public on Sustainable House Day.
While most Australian homes struggle to reach an energy-efficiency rating of two stars, homes in The Cape development average eight-star ratings and cost around $300 a year to run. Victoria’s first 10-star home will be open, along with a community food garden, and visitors can download free house designs.