The REB Efficiency Group had its second meeting on Tuesday June 26th at the Benalla Gliding Club.
Howard asked us to think about orientation and how this might affect the comfort and efficiency of our homes. The movement of the sun around our homes is very predictable. Ideally the living area is best facing north to allow penetration of winter sun, however eaves will largely exclude the sun in the hot summer when the sun is high in the sky. Sleeping and utility areas are better placed on the south side of the house.
The Australian Government website Your Home has an excellent guide to Passive Design, http://www.yourhome.gov.au/passive-design.
Peter provided a brief outline of the Energy Freedom Home stepwise process of improving the energy efficiency of your home until eventually it can, after installation of solar panels, become a net exporter of energy.
As Peter's home has a northerly facing living area he is investigating better utilising this aspect of the home to make it more comfortable and energy efficient. This could include replacing northerly windows with doors to allow more winter sun access. These doors would then also allow access to an outdoor living area which would become a private area after changes to fencing. He is also considering insulation, draft proofing, and windows. Peter recommended Sustainability Victoria's video, Energy Efficiency at Home.
Other useful links with information on improving energy efficiency.
Indigo Shire Better Build Toolkit
ATA: Free Renter's guide to Sustainable Living