When it comes to updating or renovating your home, one thing’s for certain: you want it to look good. But have you also considered that you might also want your new design to:
- Function well
- Be more energy-efficient
- Cut your costs in the long run?
It’s a good question to ask – because, sometimes, by opting to pay slightly more (e.g. increase your investment) in the short-term, you can save yourself a lot of cash, time and resources in the longer-term. In this article, we’ll show you how. With over 15 years of expertise in the art of saving our customers precious dollars, we can’t wait to share our very best tips and tricks with you too.
Are solar panels worth it?
Once considered a desirable but largely unaffordable and inaccessible technology, solar is now one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective renewable energies available on the market. Solar panels can save you vast amounts of money on your electricity bill, increase the value of your property, and help reduce your impact on the environment. However, the exact financial and environmental benefits will depend on several factors such as the cost of installation, local energy prices, and local incentives.
The cash that solar panels can save you depends on several factors, including:
- The size of your system
- Your local energy prices
- The amount of energy you consume
However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s possible for the average Victorian household to save between $1,000 to $2,000 per year on electricity costs by switching to solar power. Pair your solar panels with solar battery storage (like the Tesla Powerwall, available on via our Simply Energy Virtual Power Plant partnership) and you could even be making money from your contributions to the grid!
Over the course of 20 to 30 years, the total savings delivered via your solar panels can be substantial, and many people find that solar panels pay for themselves within 5 to 10 years. Consider that alongside the fact that G Store’s SunPower Maxeon panels have a warranty of 40 years (yes, that’s four decades), and you’ve got yourself a no-brainer.
Before deciding to install solar PV panels for your new build, refreshed build or home renovation, it’s recommended to get a professional evaluation of your energy needs, roof type, and local climate to determine if solar panels are a sound investment for the updates you wish to make to your home.
Is energy-efficient HVAC (heating and cooling) worth it?
Ducted heating/cooling, hydronic heating/cooling, reverse-cycle air conditioners, portable air conditioners, panel heaters, and more. When it comes to updating the heating and cooling your home, there are a vast array of options to consider.
While the amount of money a high-efficiency HVAC system can save you is dependent on a number of factors, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to save between 15% to 50% on your energy bills with an energy-efficient HVAC system compared to an older, less efficient system.
Pair that with a heat pump (to power your hydronic heating/cooling, for example), and again, the benefits are huge: you could even use your heat pump to get your hot water for what is, effectively, free!
While many people in small spaces choose to install a reverse-cycle, split-system air conditioner due to its manageable size and convenient, compact installation (inside wall unit plus outside unit), picking the wrong split-system can be a big drain on your back pocket, as well as on the environment.
A great option for those seeking a reverse-cycle, split-system air conditioner for smaller spaces is the new, high-efficiency Panasonic unit incorporating nanoe™X technology. There are three key benefits to this incredible new system as compared with other split-system and multi-split system air conditioning units. Let’s take a look at them now:
- Active deodorisation – Penetrating into the deepest parts of fibres, nanoe™X eliminates frequently encountered odours, creating cleaner and fresher spaces.
- Inhibits bacteria and viruses – nanoe™X envelops and inhibits the activity of airborne and adhered bacteria & viruses, common mould, pollens and allergens.
- Moisturises and hydrates your skin
Unlike other air conditioning units and systems which can leave your skin feeling dry and chapped, nanoe™X combines with natural sebum (natural skin oils) to coat the skin, leading to a smoother, well-hydrated complexion. These benefits stand in stark contrast to other split-system and multi-split system solutions which, while handy and largely energy-efficient (depending on the model), can end up recirculating odorous and/or unhealthy air. You can learn more about nanoe™X here.
If you’re looking for a solution that can save you a huge amount of money and lower your carbon footprint at the same time, hydronic heating can be the way to go. Hydronic heating can be a highly energy-efficient option for heating your home, but it depends on various factors such as the size of your home, your local climate, and the specific system you choose.
Hydronic heating systems work by circulating hot water through a series of pipes to radiators or underfloor heating systems, which then release heat into your home. Because the water in a hydronic heating system can be heated using a variety of energy sources, including natural gas, solar, or even a heat pump, the overall energy efficiency of the system will depend on the specific energy source you choose.
Compared to other types of heating systems, hydronic heating can be very efficient because it allows for precise temperature control, reducing the amount of energy required to heat your home. And guess what? You can even use a heat pump to facilitate your hydronic heating/cooling too!
Is a heat pump hot water system worth it?
By far the most common types of hot water system in Victoria are gas and electric systems. When it comes to both of these, you have two options: instantaneous (water is heating as you need to use it, with no storage), or storage. Heat pump hot water systems can be much more energy-efficient than electric or gas-powered systems. This is largely due to the way in which they extract and redistribute heat.
However, as you might suspect, the exact amount of energy savings you can expect from a heat pump hot water system will depend on several factors, including the size of your hot water tank, your local climate, and the efficiency of the specific heat pump you choose.
But here’s the great thing: heat pump hot water systems can be up to three times more energy-efficient than electric hot water systems and up to 50% more energy-efficient than gas hot water systems. Amazing!
As for cost, here’s the lowdown:
On average, a heat pump hot water system can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 or more, compared to an electric hot water system, which can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 or a gas hot water system, which can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.
However, despite the higher upfront cost, a heat pump hot water system can offer substantial energy savings over time, which can offset the higher initial cost. Additionally, the cost of electricity and natural gas can vary widely based on your location, so it’s important to factor in these costs when considering the overall cost of a heat pump hot water system.
Is solar battery storage worth it?
If you’re considering solar, it nearly goes without saying that you should also consider getting a solar battery. But why? Solar battery storage allows you to store excess energy generated by your solar panels, which you can then use when the sun isn’t shining, rather than drawing energy from the grid. This can help you reduce your reliance on the grid and potentially lower your energy bills.
The cost of solar battery storage systems can vary widely, depending on the size of the system and the type of battery you choose. On average, a solar battery storage system can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 or more. The specific savings you can expect from a solar battery storage system will depend on several factors, including the cost of energy in your area, the size of your solar panel system, and your energy usage patterns.
In some cases, the investment in a solar battery storage system may not pay for itself within a reasonable amount of time, especially if you have low energy bills or if the cost of energy in your area is low. In other cases, however, a solar battery storage system can be a cost-effective investment, helping you reduce your energy bills and increase your energy independence.
We’d love to help you determine whether or not a solar battery is right for you – just give our friendly team a call on 1300 766 940 any time. You might also like to check out the ways in which you can start making money from the solar you generate and export from your battery – check out our Virtual Power Plant offering via G Store’s exclusive partnership with Simply Energy here.
Are new appliances worth it? Everyone’s favourite when updating your home is often the opportunity to get brand-new appliances! New appliances can often be worth the investment, as they typically offer improved energy efficiency, technology, features, and performance compared to older models. What’s more, upgrading to new appliances can lower your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and provide a more comfy, convenient and enjoyable experience in the kitchen or laundry room.
However, the specific value-add of new appliances to your renovation will depend on several factors, including the cost of the appliances, the cost of energy in your area, the size and type of appliances, and your specific usage patterns. It’s also important to note that the cost of new appliances can vary widely, so it’s important to consider your budget and compare prices across different brands and models before making a purchase.
Another factor to consider is whether your appliances will be powered by gas or electric energy sources. Gas tends to cost more (and is also a finite natural resource), so you’ll need to make the decision on whether or not its lower initial cost justifies the higher bills and more significant carbon footprint you’re likely to experience in the longer-term.
In summary, it’s important to be wary of the cheaper options that exist for home renovators looking for the quickest-possible solution. In the current market, complete with supply chain issues post-lockdown and during the COVID recovery period, it’s likely that different providers will be offering cheaper solutions paired with promises on quick delivery – but remember that a lower initial investment is likely to cost you money in the long-run.