Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our new Energymark group

Recently we have joined an "Energymark" group - Energymark is a CSIRO initiative to help households and communities reduce their carbon footprints, lower energy usage and save on power bills.  We meet on a Sunday evening once a month to discuss climate change and exchange ideas as to how we can make a difference. 

Reducing our household power consumption was one of our major goals for this year and this group is providing the nudge that we needed to start thinking about things we can further improve on around the house.

Prior to starting this program we had already made some major reductions in our household power consumption through solar hot water.  The graph below shows our household power consumption and the effects our actions have had already (you may have to double click the picture to enlarge it so that you can read the information). 
In summary, we have installed solar hot water  - the reduction in power use for heating our hot water is seen by the reduction in the green line over time - even over winter in Orange when we run a booster frequently.  We have also installed just under 1 kW of photovoltaic panels on the roof and installed an efficient gas space heater in the living area to reduce our use of the the 1980's ducted electric heater.  This has dropped our electricity use considerably - follow the red line on the graph.

The purple line at the bottom of the graph is the our net solar power export - we have recently changed to a gross export meter which will improve the monitoring of our solar power generated.

Putting all our power and gas consumption along with water use into a spreadsheet was one of the first things that we have done through the Energymark program and this has been a real eye opener.  We have also put our water and gas consumption onto a spreadsheet, and have combined our gas and electricity information to present a CO2 emissions graph.

It has also been the incentive we needed to start planning what else we can do to further reduce our power consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of our household.

How does your household rate for power consumption? 

In Australia you can calculate a star rating for your household energy and water use on the NABERS site.  We have gone from a 1.5 star energy rated household to a 5 star energy rated household in the three and a bit years we have been in Orange - but there is still room for improvement.

Have you monitored the changes you are making at a household level?  We have found it a rewarding process.


  1. Thanks for your interesting post. I have been recording our energy and water readings once a week for a long time now - it really opens your eyes to how much you are using!! I hadn't seen the NABERS Home assessment before and have just found out that we rate at 3.5 for energy and 4.5 for water use... which is great news. We are planning to install solar soon so that should help! I'm planning lots of other eco improvements too and will be tracking my progress on my new blog

  2. Thanks for sharing Clare. Will pop over and follow your journey. Marita