19-21 April 2024
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

9 Energy Efficient Products Will Save You Thousands

Australia is ranked 18th out of 25 countries for energy-efficient houses; here, we run through 8 energy-saving products.

Luke Menzel, CEO of Australia’s Energy Efficiency Council, said, “While this result is disappointing, it points to a huge opportunity. We can quickly cut energy bills while making our homes more comfortable by being much smarter about how we use energy.”

“Without stronger energy efficiency measures, it will also be impossible for Australia to meet the global climate goal of capping temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.”

TESLA

Tiny House & Power-wall



Tesla’s ranges of electric cars are invading suburbs and car parks across Australia, and now, the Home Show floor.

Our eco-town ambassador, Wombat, joked, “It may look like the DeLorean, but this is actually a Tesla. But the interesting thing about this car is it’s being driven all the way around Australia in 19 days. Just to prove that it’s not too hard to find a charging station. 19 Days around Australia; I mean, most people take a year to do that trip!”

Tesla has developed a cult following called Tesla Owners Club of WA. Elon Musk’s disciples showed off their Model X at the show to a curious audience. Later, Tesla showed up with their new Model X and a Tesla tiny house. Powered by solar panels and a Powerwall. The house is fully functioning with lights and a TV. Tesla sells the dream of ‘being less dependent on the grid.’

A Guide to Living off the Grid

Thermawood

Retrofit Double Glazed Windows



Did you know you can retrofit your single glazed windows? It’s an affordable alternative to having the whole ‘Sha-bang.’ Plus, it saves a few trees in the process for good measure.

Here’s how it works:
1. Choose a window: sash, casement, wind-out, leadlights
2. They take out your single glazing glass
3. Keep your original frame
4. Replace it with a double-glazed unit

Something you don’t see everywhere is the drainage system found at the bottom of Thermawood windows. Because you are re-using an old frame, you don’t want to end up with a rotten frame or condensation inside the unit. The drainage system eliminates this problem and extends shelf life.

Solaray Energy

Turnkey renewable energy



Solaray is dedicated to using only the best brands when installing solar panels and storage. Not only market-leading TV manufactures, LG is also revered in the energy sector for their reliable panels and warranties. Each panel is packed with tech to ensure maximum efficiency.

Peter from Solaray Energy explained, “The enphase microinverters; we use those under the panels to give you individual performance per solar panel so you get good performance out of your system.”

The market-leading technology is paired with another market leader, Tesla Powerwall, to store the electricity.

Peter continued, “It’s going to store your excess solar power and give it back to you later at night. It’s also going to give you the ability to have self-power in the time of a blackout.”

OneTide Modular Systems

Off-Grid MicroGrid



Microgrids. Let’s find out what they are and why we need them. In an age of catastrophic fires, chaotic weather and drought, we are increasingly facing black-outs. The electricity stations are the first hit in a natural disaster, sending entire districts into darkness. Microgrids provide energy separate from the grid.

You might be thinking, ‘I live in Tasmania, things are good here’. That may be true, but if you want to live off the grid somewhere in the wilderness, this is the answer.

Roy Mitchell from OneTide Modular Systems said, “This system here takes in all inputs. It takes in the wind energy, it takes in wave energy, it takes in solar power, it can take a diesel generator in, and it can also take the grid in. It takes that power in and charges the battery up, which then provides clean power to your house.”

Plugin your solar panels, wind turbines or doggie treadmill machine to charge the battery. This ‘clean energy’ can power alarm systems, computers, lights, appliances or even a vibrating massage chair. Everything is monitored from their Perth office, meaning they will know how to help if trouble comes.

ISmart Building

Passive Haus builders



A building company that adheres to passive house standards? You’re not dreaming. These guys from WA are changing the game with their affordable housing and healthy environments. They’re taking inspiration from passive house principles from early 1990s Germany.

There are five main passive house principles –
1. Thermal insulation (4x efficiency)
2. Thermal bridge (concrete or steel)
3. Windows (double thermal brick X double glazed X low weight argon filled glass)
4. Airtightness (German membranes)
5. Ventilation (heat recovery system)

All these principles have a common theme: saving energy and saving money. Many of the components are sourced from Germany and assembled in WA. They undergo a blower door test on the building to test airtightness and identify air loss. Their service works behind existing plumbing, electrical, and audio visual to ensure nothing is damaged.

Dragon Vents Australia

Khaleesi’s air vents



Matt from Dragon Vents Australia commenced class, “We’re educating people about standard mushroom cowls (air vents). Traditional roof flumes restrict the airflow of your range hood by 60%. They’re actually allowing vermin to enter your home from underneath, along with cold draughts. Especially with the storms we’re having lately; we’ll be sure to have a lot of phone calls on draughts entering the home.”

The Dragon Vent defends your house from
• Cold air
• Vermin
• Fire embers
• Bad vibes

Enter the Dragon. Vent. It’s an automatic trapdoor system that opens itself with airflow and closes itself with gravity. You can either spray it with a hose or wait for rain to clean the apparatus, the water exits through the drainage holes.

Sealasash

Upcycled windows

Who says you need brand new windows when your old timber windows still got swag? That’s what Henry from Sealasash is advocating for; sustainability meets energy savings. He said, “we can install this to any timber window whether it’s a double-hung, a casement, an awning, or Yorkshire sliders. We draught seal all timber windows and doors.”

Featuring
•    Draft-sealed air on the parting bead
•    Staff bead also has a draught seal
•    Cords have 15-year, no-break guarantee
•    Polypropylene core
•    No rattles
•    Stops any dust

Garage Door Industries

ThermaLift Insulated Garage Doors



Traditional garage doors are the chink in your property armour. It usually allows an unacceptable amount of heat or cold to enter or leave your domain. In the ruthless Australian climate, your home must be ready for a fight.

Enter Mike from ThermaLift Insulated Garage Doors. He proclaimed, “the door is available in 20 colours, it’s powered by the new Merlin Commander Ultimate. It has WiFi connectivity and battery backup standard. The door is very clean and tidy on the inside, as opposed to a normal conventional sectional door, which has all exposed framing.”

These guys aren’t going to close their garage doors and shut up shop, they’ve been in business since 1974. They supply and fit the smooth finished 50 mm R3 thermal rated sectional door quicker than you can say ‘open sesame.’

Specialised Solutions

Sustainable solar bench

The Home Show feature, Eco Town, is the place to check out the latest and greatest in energy-saving products. And the Block’s very own Wombat is our eco-ambassador giving us the tour of the feature.

He said, “If you’re down at the Home Show and your phone’s running low on batteries, you want to come along to see Specialised Solutions. It’s a park bench with the solar panels on top and a phone charging station. So, you just pop it on the wireless charger like that, and it charges up. Now, you might start to see these things popping up all over the country!”

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