Energy Efficient Homes – Can I Have One Too?

Energy efficient homes are a major contributor to reducing your energy costs and effects of global warming. Whether you want to build a new home or must adapt your existing home, there are steps you can take towards energy savings of around 40% or more.

Energy efficient homes - a way to restore the Earth, where we have diced it, chopped it, hung, drawn and quartered it...

The Home energy audits are an excellent first step that points the way.

Energy costs are soaring.Rising gas prices for drivers. Heating and cooling costs. Running your appliances...

Learning about energy efficient homes is a must if you and your family are to live through the energy crisis that is just beginning.

We are living in interesting times, when we are forced to start paying for the real cost of our energy use for the first time in history. It was always inevitable. Everything in life is finite, so why would oil be an exception? And that while food prices, interest rates, and generally flagging world economies bite!

Go here to share your tips, questions or reviews about home energy efficiency here, or read on...

Most of us live in non-energy efficient homes.

But what is energy efficiency in the home mean? Important as it is, I think it is broader than measuring your domestic energy use.

I say that because a healthy home environment, one where you feel comfortable and enjoy a rest from the day's stresses, saves personal costs. Of ill-health.

So, it's not just about your energy bill, or emissions. It's also about building sustainably, healthily, for the environment, and for you and your family.

Building Sustainably

So, besides insulation, heating and cooling issues, here are some other aspects you should consider when you build a home:

  • The home site. Not just views, close to transport and neighbors but also about avoiding the Earth's energy lines;
  • Home design. Does it allow you rest, recharge, do your favorite activities?;
  • Floorplan. Have you got the balance right between open spaces and rooms, affecting cooling and heating?;
  • Building materials. Do you know that chemical ooze in a new home from its materials can make you ill? Which do you choose?;
  • Natural building materials, like wood or limestone or manufactured brick, metals and plastics?;
  • Home decorating. Does your decor make you feel good? No toxic plastics, fillers, paints, varnishes and glues?;
  • Light. So important in how you feel, and in heating and cooling;
  • Color. Used colors that fit you, or make you uncomfortable?;
  • Radiation. Crammed your house with electronic gadgets that emit a magnetic radiation soup? Do you need to?;
  • Furnishings. Do you know what's in them? Natural or synthetic?

It's time we fitted in with the whole, round Earth that we live on. We diced it, squared it. Hung, drawn and quartered it. It's now or never to start going with the flow of its life currents. Live within limits... and healthily so.

Energy efficient homes can make massive savings

For example, the average monthly electricity bill in the US is just under $100 in 2006. About 78% of that electricity is generated from fossil fuels. And this proportion will only slowly decline, despite nuclear power and growing renewable energy deployment (sources used: Energy Information Administration).

Rising oil and coal prices, investor speculation, peak oil and emission trading are all working to pump up your monthly bill – steeply, just like your car fuel prices have gone... North!

But you could reduce your home bills for electricity, water and gas now by doing some things at your end – the consumer end. Why wait for change at the top?

In the US, home energy use looks like this:

  • 47% on space heating
  • 24% on lighting appliances
  • 17% water heating
  • 6% air conditioning
  • 5% refrigeration

So, you know that you can make huge savings by looking at areas in your home such as these:

  • energy-efficient windows
  • energy efficient appliances
  • insulation
  • solar heating
  • solar cooling
  • ways to save or re-use water
  • and so on

There's a lot to know! Hard to know where to start some times.

It is actually quite possible to save more than 30% of your rising power bills and almost 60% on CO2 emissions without buying expensive solar panels. you can even makeit your business...

Energy efficient homes are not just for people who build new

Yes, of course if we were all in a position to build our own new home, you would look at the most environmentally sustainable, low-cost, low-emission house that would also be a pleasure to live in.

And we need new homes to be built like that. Fortunately you can do so much where you are right now. For most of us that is exactly where we must start.

Perhaps you want ready-made energy efficient house plans but energy efficient home design is best when you consider your particular needs, your location and circumstances.

Even off grid living might be more possible for you than you think.

Libe Chacos is an Australian home builder and designer with more than 20 years experience. He is no ordinary guy and I'm privileged to know him. He holds the Award for Excellence In Energy Efficient Housing and won the Australian 2007 HIA GreenSmart Professional of The Year. Prestigious distinctions...

His book, the Guide To Affordable Sustainable Housing is crammed with gems of practical knowledge like these:

  • Do you know of a fridge that is 90% cheaper to run than the best energy-rated rated fridges?
  • Do you know how to choose the best solar panel – or your window?
  • How to determine the size of your solar energy system?
  • How to get your home insulation in top-shape?
  • How to improve the air in your home?
  • What key points you need to know in building or renovating energy efficient homes?
  • How to have a home even in which you will sleep better?
  • And much, much more.

The context of his Guide on energy efficient homes is Australian but the principles and applications are universal – applicable to you too, wherever you live.

After all, Australia has a great variety of climates. What works Down Under will work anywhere. We're on the same Mother Earth together.


Before you move on...

Please share your questions and your tips on energy efficient homes and sustainable building here!

Want To Share Your Energy Efficient Homes Tips? Ask A Question?

You can really do your bit with greenhouse emissions reduction AND save yourself some money. How have you achieved that? Heard about something and see if someone else can vouch for it?

Just enter it below and wait for the response...

Name your question or story

Tell Us Here![ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]

Add a Picture/Graphic Caption (optional) 

Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

Your Name

(first or full name)

Your Location

(ex. City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

Check box to agree to these .

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Tips on Reducing Electricity Bill  Not rated yet
Tips on Reducing Electricity Bill

With the economy being the way it is everywhere in the world we are looking for ways to cut back on expenses. And …

will the government fund a proto type energy efficient home Not rated yet
I want to build a proto type home that would be solar,to utilize a manufactured home. It would introduce working modifications that could be applied to …

Energize Your Savings! 
I live in Marquette, MI where we can get up to 200-400 inches of snow. Needless to say, it gets expensive to live here in winter. To compound the problem, …

how do energy efficent homes work? 
I would like to know how energy efficient houses work.Do they have something in the way that the houses run or do they use some type of energy that causes …

getting grants to green up your house Not rated yet
Where do we go to get the scoop on

a) what to do to retrofit your house to green it up as much as possible and

b) to get as much help from state federal …

Energy Efficient house Not rated yet

I am doing a project on making a energy sustainable house. I don't know where to start. I am thinking of a way that I cam make a life easier by …

Solar and/or Wind Turbine Grant Money 
I'm looking at ways to help get "off-the-grid" and I'm looking at installing solar panels and wind turbines at my home. I need to know if there is grant …

Components of Energy Efficient Doors and Windows 
In terms of energy efficiency, windows and doors are a home's biggest weak spots. Historically, poorly sealed doors and single-pane windows have served …

Energy Star Has Its Flaws Not rated yet
For years now, Energy Star has been a trusted source for homeowners and contractors looking to incorporate green appliances into their remodel plans. It's …

How To Start My Energy Efficient House? Not rated yet
I would like sites or info on what's available and what's affordable in the solar /wind power for my home. If you could point me in the right direction …

Defining the Green Roof 
There are many ways to be "green"; apparently, on the roof as well. When someone mentions a green roof, a range of different images can go through your …

Click here to write your own.

Besides energy efficient homes, transport is a major emitter of greenhouse gas.
That's another area where we must save energy use.

Benefits Of Energy Audits To Business

Green Homes Are Valuable Real Estate

Green Roofs Are Blooming

Emissions Trading. How Does It Work?

Looking For Savings On Emissions And Hip Pocket? Learn About Alternative Fuel Cars

Vegetarian Nutrition - A Way To Save Energy In A Warming World

What Local Effects Of Global Warming Do You See? Tell The World. Building a big picture of small, local effects. Something anyone can do.