Energy is expensive – there’s no doubt about it. As we continue living in this ‘new normal’ during the coronavirus pandemic, we’re certain you’re seeing the cost of operating a home in a whole new light.­­­

Whether you work from home or are just spending more time indoors due to COVID-19 restrictions, you’ll have noticed your energy bills are higher than ever. Heater on all day, clothes dryer whirring, iPads charging, and Wi-Fi ramped to capacity – sound familiar?

Running an energy-efficient home involves more than you might think. It goes beyond turning lights off, asking the kids to pop on a jumper, and buying appliances with high energy star ratings – it’s about getting the bones right when you build.

Last year, Metricon worked alongside Sustainability Victoria on its Zero Net Carbon Homes pilot program, to create the Energy Saver Plus Pack – a series of new home build inclusions for an energy efficient, zero net carbon home. In addition to creating a home that’s friendlier on the hip pocket, the Energy Saver Plus Pack also means a home with less draughts, dust and fluctuations in temperature.

The sitting room in Metricon's Zero Net Carbon Home display.

What is a Zero Net Carbon Home?

A Zero Net Carbon Home is a home that is designed, built and tested for energy-efficiency and comfort. It is specifically designed to be cooler in summer and warmer in winter, aiming to maximise energy efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a home designed to reduce energy costs  over the term of your ownership and to ensure comfortable living through consistent indoor temperatures; which means a win for your hip pocket, and the environment.

As well as meeting a higher than usual NatHERS (National House Energy Rating Scheme) energy rating, a Zero Net Carbon Home will meet higher thermal efficiency standards than a regular Australian home.*

What’s included in the Energy Saver Plus Pack?

Solar Power System

Equip your home with a solar power system. Solar panels on the roof convert sunlight into affordable, sustainable energy. That saves you money on your power bills^. There are multiple reasons why you should consider installing a solar power system, including:

  • Solar is a renewable energy source, which is better for the environment
  • A solar system can help to reduce energy use and electricity bills^
  • They’re a low maintenance option for your home
  • Solar power can be used in areas without access to the energy grid

Adding solar panels and a solar hot water system is one way to save on energy bills.
Draught Seals

One of the quickest ways to lose heat in a home is through the gaps between your doors, walls, air vents, skirtings and the ground. Draught seals minimise leakage, keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in summer without relying on heating/air-conditioning.

They also make your home a whole lot more comfortable by keeping nasty dust and pollutants out. Not only do draught seals increase thermal efficiency and help to reduce power bills^, but they’re also a great option for allergy and asthma sufferers as they minimise dust and allergens.
 

Double-Glazed Windows

Double glaze your windows. Trapping air between two panes of glass is a smart energy-efficient move. It acts as a barrier to keep warm air in during winter and hot air out during summer. We recommend double glazing your windows as they provide benefits such as:

  • Increased thermal efficiency
  • Reduced power bills^
  • They’re harder to break and more secure
  • They limit condensation, mould and dust

Double glazed windows are a great energy efficient option.

Extraction Fans with Humidity Sensor

Having ceiling extraction fans with humidity sensors means they automatically detect excess moisture and switch on to reduce condensation, and automatically switch off. They only work when needed, saving energy and reducing your power bills. A fan equipped with a humidity sensor will:

  • Automatically works when needed
  • Reduce mould and mildew
  • Save energy use
  • Minimise dust – great for people with asthma and allergies

 

Insulation

Although you can’t see it, insulation works hard to increase thermal efficiency. Fitted into the ceilings, walls (including wet areas) and façade, it keeps your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Insulation has an R-value indicating how efficient it is. You’ll find insulation with a higher than standard rating inside a Zero Net Carbon Home.

There are two major benefits to installing high R-value insulation. Firstly, it will have increased thermal efficiency which helps in keeping your home hotter in winter and cooler in summer.

Secondly, you’ll find that you become less reliant on your heating and air-conditioning systems. Not only is that a greener solution, but your power bills will likely reduce too.

Insulation is always important in an energy-efficient home.


LED Light Bulbs

LED lighting is an excellent energy efficiency measure. LED light bulbs require much less wattage than compact fluorescent lamps or incandescent light bulbs – in fact they can decrease downlight wattage by 75% or more! Their lifespan is much longer than the alternative, which is perfect for anyone who wants to reduce the amount of maintenance they do around their home. Finally, as with most energy-efficient options, installing LED light bulbs can also help to reduce electricity bills^.

Independent thermal testing

Your peace of mind is important to us. So, to ensure you have all the energy-efficient benefits you’re expecting, any Metricon home sold with a complete Energy Saver Plus pack# is independently assessed to ensure it meets the standards of a Zero Net Carbon home.

Metricon arranges for an independent assessor to conduct tests during the build process and again on completion so you’re comfortable your home is performing as it should when you’re handed your keys.
 

Where can I see a display home with the Energy Saver Plus Pack?

Metricon has built two display homes in Victoria featuring the Energy Saver Plus Pack – the Whittlesea 25 in the Botanical Estate at Mickleham and the Delta29MR in the Kaduna Park Estate at Officer, which you can tour in the video below.



If you want to find out more about Metricon’s Energy Saver Plus Pack or please contact us today for more information.

Alternatively, visit Sustainability Victoria's website to learn more about the Zero Net Carbon Homes Program.

^ Based on normal usage of the home. Consumer behaviour will vary and Metricon makes no guarantees on cost savings on this basis.

* The rating does not include embodied energy. Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building. Zero Net Carbon means achieving a reduction of annual greenhouse gas emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount generated on site through renewable energy.

# Independent testing is conditional on adopting all the features included in the Energy Saver Plus Pack.


Metricon’s Energy Saver Plus pack with Zero Net Carbon certification can be purchased in Victoria. Many of the inclusions can also be purchased in other states. Talk to our team about what can be incorporated in your new build.