There are a number of ways to save electricity in your granny flat or shed home. Some of which you can implement now, some which will involve consideration during the build. Essentially, your long term savings will come down to your building plans. Do you plan on building a new granny flat or shed home? Here at The Shed House we are passionate about building for the future – that means creating homes that will save electricity for you. Read through our tips and tricks below.
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Turn Off Unnecessary Lights, Use Natural Light & Install LED Lights
Did you know that in Australia, lighting accounts for 10% of the average electricity budget? With that in mind, it is very important to consider the lights installed in your new granny flat or shed home. It is a known fact that LED lights will require much less energy when compared to incandescent or halogen. Better yet, natural light is free! Designing a home with aspect and light in mind, you will never need to turn a light on during the day. We employ clever design techniques such as raked ceilings, additional windows and open plan designs to maximise natural light.
Install Solar Lighting & Sensors
If you are intending to install solar panels, it makes sense to install solar lighting as well. Over the years, solar lighting technology has improved drastically. Outdoor solar lights can also be connected to battery back up as well, ensuring they will always be bright and bring light where you need it.
The simple use of a sensor – connected to your outdoor or indoor lights can count towards a big saving. Sensors will turn lighting off when a room is unoccupied or when there is enough daylight. Sensors can be installed as part of a smart automation system, including the ability to adjust the light brightness depending on how much natural light there will be at any given time (like an automatic dimmer).
Install Solar PV and/or Batteries
Did you know that the process of converting sunlight into electricity through a PV system produces zero greenhouse gas emissions . Solar PV is intended to be a long term investment. Without batteries, the payback will happen about 3-5 years into the systems lifespan. Adding batteries will extend the payback period as the upfront cost will be a bit more.
It is important to understand your usage requirements prior to choosing the system. For instance, a solar PV will only power electrical appliances. If you are also intending on installing a gas hot water system, ensure that you only account for the remaining usage.
Install a Gas Hot Water System and/or Gas Cooktop
Installing any gas appliances will immediately reduce your energy usage. If you will rely on LPG it will pay to contact a distributor to calculate your yearly cost. Natural gas, similar to electricity will be metered. Once again, contact the provider to get an idea on yearly costs. If you are building in a more rural site, natural gas will not be available to you. The combined use of solar and gas will go towards a big saving at the end of every year.
Consider The Energy Rating Of All Home Appliances
While we are all aware that the difference between a 1 star and 5+ star rated appliance may attribute to a difference in running costs – do you know what the figures would be? Interestingly, appliances account for 30% of home energy usage, which is a large portion. The more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient it will be. At present, there are two styles of labels:
- The 6-star label
- The ‘super efficiency’ 10-star label for appliances 7 star or higher
The basic steps involved to calculate an appliance’s consumption are the below:
- Find out how much you pay for a unit of electricity from your provider
- Understand the appliance’s power usage in kilowatts (kW) located on the star label
- Estimate hourly cost
- Estimate daily running cost
- Estimate yearly running cost
- Compare and save!
Get in touch with The Shed House team today to discuss all the possible ways to save electricity in your new granny flat or shed home. We excel in implementing the latest technologies and work with you to achieve those off-grid build goals. Read more about how we can achieve an Off-Grid build here.