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Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Saving energy is more popular these days

solar panel

Credit: sxc.hu

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It’s been so good to see how popular saving energy has become across Australia in the last few years. Back when I started looking into environmental issues, people never considered saving money on their bills by switching lightbulbs or looking at the energy star ratings when they bought appliances. But now a survey by Solahart shows just how common it is.

I was really surprised (and happy!) to see the following statistics:

  • 88% of people surveyed were looking for ways to cut their household energy use
  • 79% of people wanted to do that by using sustainable energy
  • 72% have bought energy-efficient appliances, and 89% have switched to CFLs
  • 22% have installed solar hot water systems, and
  • 22% have switched to ‘green power’ even though it costs them a little extra.

For myself, I’m looking into getting a solar heat pump. Our roof isn’t quite right for a solar panel, but the heat pump still works from solar energy, which is cheaper than paying for green power and cleaner than coal power.

So if you were feeling a little alone in your quest to green your life and save energy, don’t! It’s becoming a mainstream thing to do in Australia.

I love this, because it means that us greenies can now hold appliance makers and building designers to a higher standard. They used to use the public’s lack of understanding of these issues as an excuse to go slow on change, but now most people get it and want more bang for their buck.

If you’re ready to go the extra mile with your energy-saving, there are still rebates available from the Federal government for solar hot water and other energy- and water-saving devices. People don’t realise that they could get them for cheaper, but that it’s a limited offer. The rebates will very likely be cut off in 2012, so if you’ve been hesitating, make it your weekend project sooner rather than later.