Kate has been renting the three-bedroom brick house for the past 10 years. She is a single parent pension card holder. She has gas hot water, a gas stove and a gas heater in her living room.
Last summer Kate had insulation installed through the Federal Government’s insulation rebate program and in January this year she had some retrofitting work done through Low Energy Supplies. This included low-flow showerheads, blinds and pelmets in the living room, sealing around doors and a change in tap washers.
“I live in a double-brick house and in winter it’s colder inside than out. In summer, it can be cool for the first couple of days of heat, but then it just traps the hot air inside.”
“In winter the insulation has made a massive difference. I can open the living room door and it heats a larger space.”
Kate has an old, single-flush toilet and would like a dual-flush toilet, a grey water system, and improved energy-efficient heating. She says her landlord is amenable to improvements in the house but is a pensioner himself and couldn’t afford comprehensive retrofitting. So she strongly supports the objectives of the One Million Homes campaign.
Kate saves water with a bucket in the shower, has a 60-litre container that catches rainwater off the roof, uses dishwashing rinse water on her garden and has her washing machine on the “eco cycle”.
Kate roughly spends:
$360 a year on gas bills
$216 a year on water bills
$240 a year on electricity bills