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Heating and cooling

Victorian homes have been described as "glorified tents" - sweltering in summer, and freezing in winter. In fact, heating accounts for about a third of the average Victorian household's energy bill. Here's how to heat and cool your home for less.

Here’s a fact to give you goosebumps: more people die from the cold in Australia than in Sweden.

A 2015 study in medical journal The Lancet found that cold contributed to about 3.9 per cent of deaths in Sweden, but 6.5 per cent in Australia. That’s one in 15 deaths.

Why? One reason is the average quality of housing. Sweden has below-freezing temperatures outside but comfortable temperatures inside homes. Victorian houses, however, average two stars or less. They leak heat as if a window were open all the time.

As a result, Victorian households spend about one third of their energy costs on heating (mostly gas). People on low incomes can struggle to pay rising heating bills, putting their health at risk.

And it’s not just winter – many of our homes are uncomfortable in summer too, making us vulnerable to the health impacts of heatwaves.

The good news is that fixing the problem is pretty easy.

Our research shows most homes built before 2005 will see a big improvement in heating and cooling by spending just a few thousand dollars on draught sealing, insulation and window-shading. The upfront cost can be recovered in energy savings over a few years.

In fact, just using an efficient reverse cycle air conditioner for heating instead of gas can save Victorian homes $658 per year. [1]

Check out the articles and blog posts below for more tips about heating and cooling your home.

Sources:

[1] Six Steps to Efficiency Leadership, Environment Victoria November 2015, p.11

One Million Homes

What if we could cut energy bills, reduce pollution and help vulnerable Victorians all at the same time? That's the clever idea behind this campaign to make one million homes more energy and water efficient.