Focus

When Stars align: Finding the energy star rating and financial ‘sweet spot’

When does investment in energy performance garner a financial return? We ask three of Australia’s leading energy efficiency housing researchers to find out.

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Solar sizing latest: ‘Go big’ with your PV system

Wondering what size solar photovoltaic system to install? The latest ATA modelling shows that bigger is better, even if you don’t use much electricity.

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Many happy returns: 21 years of solar

Stuart McQuire and Wendy Orams were second in Australia to install a grid-connected rooftop PV system and haven’t paid an electricity bill since 1996. Twenty-one years on, they speak to Kulja Coulston about their unflagging commitment to sustainability, and the solar snowball they helped start rolling.

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Taking back the power

Can community energy fuel a faster and fairer transition to a greener grid?

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Reviving the art of repair

It’s often cheaper and easier to throw products out than fix them, a reality Michelle Fisher and the Repair Café movement is trying to turn around, one broken mobile phone, record player or pair of shoes at a time.

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How to avoid common sustainable design mistakes

Making mistakes in a building project can cost time and money, and leave you well short of the energy-efficient home you planned for. Verity Campbell asks four experienced designers about their top tips for avoiding the most common pitfalls.

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Did You Know?

Minimising paved areas in your garden will limit heat radiation and water run-off.