How we can work together – during a morning or afternoon – in your home
Here’s how it usually works. First we’ll chat over the phone so I can understand what you want to achieve, and you can see what I offer.
If we arrange an appointment, I’ll visit your home for about three hours, plus or minus, depending on the size and complexity of your home and the issues and opportunities at play.
When I arrive at your home, together we’ll tour your house so I can see all visible equipment, structures, and fixtures related to home energy and comfort.
I’ll bring a ladder and look up in the roofspace if possible, to check insulation and see what other energy-related things are up there. And I’ll also look under the floor, if possible. I’ll examine your heating and cooling systems and your water heater. I’ll bring a bucket and stopwatch to check the flowrate of your showerheads.
We’ll study your energy bills: electricity and gas. I’ll study the performance of your solar photo-voltaic (PV) electricity-generating system, if you have one. Or I’ll use GoogleEarth to assess your roof’s potential for new or additional solar PV.
Then we’ll sit together for the bulk of the three hours and have “the chat”.
We’ll discuss a long list of ideas which I’ll ask you to record in your own handwriting. I’ll advise on ideas such as:
1) Draughtproofing advice: We’ll discuss why your house may be draughty. I’ll point out places where air can leak in and out. And then I’ll advise on how this can be fixed, either by DIY or by hiring a professional.
2) Insulation upgrades: My investigations in your attic will reveal if someone has disrupted the insulation in your roofspace. I’ll also advise on whether you should consider retrofit underfloor or wall insulation and how you would go about getting that done.
3) Window treatments: We’ll discuss if your windows, blinds, drapes and eaves keep out the hot summer sun, and if they help retain winter heat. I’ll advise on the advantages of double-glazing, secondary glazing, and other ways to improve window performance.
4) Space heating and cooling systems: I’ll explain how to get the most out of what you have, and discuss what is possible with upgrades. If you aren’t familiar with reverse-cycle air conditioners (heat pumps) and how they recover free renewable heat from the air outside your home, we will go through all this.
5) Hot water systems: I’ll determine the approximate age of your hot water system, we’ll discuss why it is good to have a replacement plan, and I’ll describe which systems work best with solar PV.
6) Lighting: I’ll advise you on LED lighting upgrade options, especially regarding downlights.
7) Other appliances: I’ll advise on the meaning of appliance star ratings, what is a heat-pump clothes dryer, how much that second fridge in the garage or appliances on stand-by are costing you, and more.
8) Solar PV electricity generation: If you have a solar PV system already, I’ll advise how to get the most out of it. If you are thinking of a new system, I’ll advise on much it might save you and what size of system you should consider.
9) Energy bill analysis and energy-use monitoring: I’ll advise on what information you can access via your gas and electricity bills, what information you can get from your “smart meter”, and how you can monitor the cost to operate individual appliances.
10) Energy suppliers & offers: I’ll advise on the various offers in the market including available discounts. I’ll suggest which suppliers and offers may be best for you.
11) All-electric home: I’ll advise on the benefits of the all-electric home, and how you can eliminate the gas bill, disconnect from the gas grid, and even have your gas meter taken away.
12) Electric vehicles: I’ll advise how to prepare for a future electric car or other electric vehicle.
13) Pools and spas: We’ll discuss if there are more cost-effective ways to operate these.
14) And more!
I’ll advise on what government rebates are available, who’s eligible, and when programs might reduce or end.
I’ll give you an idea of service and equipment suppliers, and other keywords that you may wish to further research, google, or contact and get quotes.
Please note that I have no commercial arrangements with any suppliers and I receive no commissions or kickbacks. But I can mention some suppliers who have a reputation for doing a good job.
Lastly and most importantly, we’ll prioritise your list. Experience tells me there will be things you’ll want to tackle straight away. There will be other things that will become part of a longer-term home-improvement plan. And there will be some things that you may never do, and that’s OK if that’s what makes sense in your home. One thing I have learned is that every home and its occupants are different from every other.
Renovations or New Construction?
Let’s meet well before you start to build or even finalise your house design!
I can advise on the arrangement of rooms and windows, zoning, design and building standards, and the most effective heating, cooling, hot water systems and solar PV for your roof.
Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard?
You may have heard of a new Victorian-government-developed home rating system called the Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard. I am a qualified “Scorecard” assessor and have assessed hundreds of homes with this computer-based tool. But that is an additional service that we can discuss, if you think it would be of value to you.
BREAKING NEWS – SCORECARD RATING MAY HELP TO REDUCE YOUR HOME LOAN! See (for example): Bank Australia and note the requirement “Residential Efficiency Scorecard rating of 7 stars or higher (excluding the impact of installed/installing rooftop solar)”.
I serve the Melbourne area, or elsewhere in Victoria by special arrangement.
“We found the consultation very worthwhile. We now have a more practical understanding of what should be our priorities.” – Katrina, Ivanhoe