Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Power Possibilities: A Renovator’s Guide To Utilities:

Here are a few things you should know about utilities.
By Expert Tips
Date: October 27 2020
Editor Rating:
415 x 315 (3)

From the shores of Geelong to the peaks of the Dandenongs, Victorian families are renovating now more than ever before, and for more reasons than just boosting their resale value alone. Sustainable living practices are being adopted in the fight to minimise not just your home’s carbon footprint, but also the size of your utility bills. If you’re looking to renovate and are keen to have your water, electricity and gas bills cut clean in half, be sure to read on.

Tackling rewiring

Outdated electrical is a major concern for a lot of homeowners, and it’s one of those issues that’s best handled by an experienced industry professional, especially if you’re living in an older or heritage property. It’s also best to look for a local industry professional if you’re based in regional Victoria or in an area that you believe may have environmental factors which need to be considered. For instance, an electrician in Ferny Creek and other higher-altitude regions will be sure to have plenty of experience in dealing with damage from fallen trees and electrical storms. 

Be sure to also consider scheduling an electrical safety inspection for properties you believe may have outdated wiring or potential electrical faults.

Upgrading light fixtures

When it comes to keeping your home eco-friendly, the first thing most Aussies think about is swapping out their light bulbs. Of course, swapping out your traditional incandescent bulbs for some energy-saving and long-lasting LEDs is always a fantastic idea, but you can also go a step further with this process by swapping out all your home’s pre-existing fixtures to more stylish and energy-efficient designs. Head to your local hardware store and have a look at some of the light fixtures available to you. Chances are you’ll find something that complement the modern design scheme you’re looking to emulate through your renovation.

You may even opt to install smart lighting in your home to keep your space feeling fun and versatile!

Assessing insulation

A surefire method to keeping your utility bills low year-round is by keeping your home naturally well-insulated. Thankfully, insulation can be quite easy to address during a home renovation, so long as you’ve got a well-organised project plan. Be sure to prioritise assessing your pre-existing bulk insulation, that is the insulating materials within the structure of your home, to minimise any weather damage that may occur during your renovation. If you’ve noticed that your home’s current bulk insulation is looking a little worse for wear, it’s recommended that you source the replacement materials all together and then swap them out promptly, going wall by wall and limiting the chance that your property’s structure is left exposed for too long. 

You should also consider eco-friendly materials for your bulk insulation, like cellulose and treated sheep’s wool to keep your carbon footprint as small as possible!

Replacing your hot water system

The last piece of the puzzle is replacing your outdated hot water system! For most Aussie families, this will most likely mean swapping out your pre-existing electric or gas hot water system for an eco-friendly solar system, or even a heat-pump system for those in a more tropical climate. And that’s the thing with your hot water system: whatever’s best for your home is largely reliant on its environmental factors, these being light availability, temperature, and also the actual size of your household. For example, a gas-boosted solar system with the continuous flow would be ideal for larger families, but the continuous flow system may not cater to all members of the household if multiple people are using the hot water at once. As there is a lot to consider, it’s worth consulting your local plumber before settling on any new system.

~

It’s clear that there’s a fair bit you’ll need to cover during your renovation, but when you renovate with savings in mind, you’ll be guaranteed to reap the rewards for bills and bills and bills to come!

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