Energy essentials for a new home

Posted in Energy essentials

Couple in front of house

For many people, their home is their biggest asset. So when it comes to building or buying your dream home, it’s important to strike the right balance between designing a home that enhances your family’s lifestyle and one that also holds its market value in the long run.

The classic example is putting in a pool. It’s a huge expense and is often a dream feature for a young family, but isn’t something buyers tend to look for when they’re hunting for a new home.

So if the goal is to not only make your house more livable today but to also increase its value over the long term, what are the essentials for a new home?


Solar panels

Solar panels can drastically reduce the running costs of your home, which makes them a really smart addition to any new build or home purchase.

Plus, getting the system installed during the building phase can be the most convenient time to do it – you’re already in construction mode and it’s likely the building site is already set up for trades.

However solar power isn’t only a sound investment to reduce the running costs of your home, it can also increase the market value of your property. In fact 85% of Australians say solar panels add value to a property.

Of course, it’s likely you’re not thinking about selling your brand new home in the short term! But with a lifespan of 25+ years, solar panels can boost the value of your home over the long term.


Solar batteries

There’s no better time to get a solar battery than when you’re getting your panels. Installed together, a solar and storage system will tend to be more affordable than when installed separately and retrofitted. This means your system is likely to pay itself off sooner and you’ll get more value from it.

We estimate a solar battery can take an average household’s use of solar power from 25% to 80%. This is because, without a battery, if your solar power isn’t used in your home as soon as it’s created, it’s automatically exported to the electricity grid.

This isn’t ideal as you’ll get the most value from your solar system by using your solar power in your home. So installing a solar battery could significantly reduce your need to buy electricity from your power company, reducing or even eliminating your power bill moving forward.

The promise of a zero dollar electricity bill won’t only be attractive to you. Future prospective buyers will likely jump at the chance to buy a home with a solar storage system already in place. After all, if you were tossing up between bidding on a regular home or one that could be powered for free, it’s a no brainer.


Energy efficiency

To make the most of your solar power, it’s important to make sure you look at other energy efficient elements in the design of your new home.

After all, there’s not much point investing in a solar system if the electricity it produces is simply used to heat a home with poor insulation. Your solar power will be wasted trying to heat a draughty home!

Here are some of the biggest efficiency features to consider when designing and building your home:

  • The best place for big windows is on the north side of your home, because they will maximise natural light and help keep your home warm in winter.
  • The opposite applies on the south facing walls where the sun doesn’t shine – keep the windows smaller so you don’t lose too much heat in winter, but make sure you can open them in summer to let the house ventilate naturally.
  • Where possible, choose a floor plan that has your living areas facing north and your bedrooms facing south. In winter, your living rooms catch maximum sun for warmth and light, while in the heat of summer your bedrooms are shielded from the sun for cooler sleeping conditions.
  • Draughts and air leaks are among the worst inefficiency offenders – potentially responsible for up to a quarter of heating and cooling loss in your home. So make sure your builder blocks up those gaps!


Ready to go solar?

If you’re getting solar panels installed, now is the most cost effective time to think about a solar battery too. For example, our mid-sized solar and battery package (including installation) could pay for itself in around 7 years*.

Designed specifically for households adding solar panels and a battery at the same time, our solar and battery package brings world-leading, tier 1 solar panels together with an Australian-designed battery solution in one streamlined, cost-effective package.

The package comes in a range of sizes depending on your energy needs, household set-up and budget. Plus there are financing options available so you can start saving with your solar and battery system now, and pay it off over time.

View the solar and battery package


If you already have solar, but want to add a battery, check out our solar battery package.


*This scenario is the 6.6kW system and a mid sized battery (7kWh). Assuming typical generation in Victoria and assuming battery gets cycled 90% of the time at 90% depth, solar savings are estimated at $1,734 ($0.20 average value of the solar generated, which could be 10c FiT and 30c usage rate at 50/50% as an example). Battery savings would be an additional $440 per annum, for total savings of $2,174.

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