19.7 C
Byron Shire
March 7, 2021

Energy efficiency ‘cheaper than renewables’

Latest News

Not quite ‘too late’

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia Sir David Attenborough, the world’s most famous naturalist, has just addressed the United Nations Security Council to...

Other News

Editorial – #ChooseToChallenge the patriarchy

It is easy to think we have almost achieved equality for men and women in a country like Australia – just as long as you don’t think too hard about it.

Heritage Bruns?

David Kolb, Brunswick Head When Mathew O’Reilly spoke to Council regarding heritage listing for parts of Brunswick Heads he was quoted...

Nurses call for an improved aged care sector

A ‘walk with nurses’ was held in Mullum last Friday, and aimed to highlight the concern aged care nurses have around fee structures, safety issues and staff training in order to properly care for our elderly.

Bangalow blackspot puts school children at risk

Will action ever be taken to protect school kids getting on and off the bus on Lismore Road, Bangalow as trucks fly by at 80km/h?

Blue-green algae amber alert still active at Uki

Last Thursday Tweed Shire Council issued an amber alert for blue-green algae in the Tweed River at Uki, with Clarrie Hall Dam remaining on a green alert. This morning they say the alerts are still active.

Naming Ben Franklin

Cecily McGee, Mullumbimby It's very misleading for the Byron Shire Echo to repeatedly give Ben Franklin free media coverage,  as in...
Sapoty Brook, Transition Byron Shire


All fired up, l to r:  local energy expert Colin George from Cool Planet,  Qld GM of Beyond Zero Emissions Emma Bosworth, lead researcher and presenter Trent Hawkins and Transition Byron Shire's Sapoty Brooke at last night's event.
All fired up, l to r: local energy expert Colin George from Cool Planet, Qld GM of Beyond Zero Emissions Emma Bosworth, lead researcher and presenter Trent Hawkins and Transition Byron Shire’s Sapoty Brooke at last night’s event.


Energy efficiency is a cheaper and easier way than renewables to get reductions in carbon emissions, a new report has found.

And reverse-cycle air-conditioning should replace gas heaters because it uses eight per cent less energy.

Heat pumps also are better than solar hot water in winter in cooler climates, according to Trent Hawkins, project coordinator for the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan.

These were some of the controversial findings of the report, sponsored by Beyond Zero Emissions, which Mr Hawkins presented to a full house at the Byron Sport and Cultural Complex last night.

He said lax building regulations resulting from a cheap-energy economy are putting Australia behind in the global drive for energy efficiency in buildings.

The report was created by collaboration of more than 100 volunteers, each of them experts in their field.

Key recommendations are to replace gas with the more efficient electrical energy, retrofit houses for energy efficiency, and install rooftop solar extensively.

The International Energy Agency predicts power generation from renewable sources will exceed natural gas by 2016. By investing in gas, Australians are at risk of rising prices. Whereas investing in efficiency and renewables provides freedom from the three main energy companies. According to the report the national cost of gas over 30 years equals the national buildings efficiency retrofit cost.

Recommended cost-effective government programs include:

  • LED lighting conversions should be rolled out now. Installing LED lighting now provides an 80 per cent saving over halogen, for example.
  • The federal government program to fully insulate houses should be completed.
  • Actions should be taken to drive the double-glazing industry in order to halve heat loss through windows.
  • Solar incentives should be continued to achieve the goals of 28GW of residential rooftop solar and 3GW on commercial buildings. Network upgrades required to accommodate this expansion of solar amount to only a relatively small $17 billion.

Other recommendations include awnings and shading of windows, conversion to induction cooktop stoves, and installation of energy-management systems.

Energy-management systems providing better feedback have resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in some commercial buildings. Smart meters in homes typically provide a 15 per cent reduction.

The report concludes that overall reductions in energy use of 53 per cent in residential and of 43 per cent in commercial buildings can be achieved over a 10-year time-frame. Economic expenditure is the same as business-as-usual over 30 years, but zero emissions can be achieved when combined with conversion to a renewable-energy grid.

Last year the International Energy Agency warned that growth in the use of coal in developing countries could lead to as much as six degrees rise in average global temperature by 2100. A media report mistakenly quoted the date as 2050, and this created disagreement during discussion after the presentation.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Suspicion and belief

Fast Buck$, Coorabell My suspicion is that the mayor and the senior staff have been helping Michael Lyon become electable as mayor by scripting his...


I Menahemi, Myocum In his editorial Hans Lovejoy says – ‘the optics from The Echo have been and hopefully always will be independent.’ As long as more...

Suffolk Park pump track

Jinesh Attard, Suffolk Park Many in the local community of hillside Suffolk Park have come to understand the impact the pump track will have on our...

New Greens team

Matthew O’Reilly President of CABS and a proud member of the NEW Byron Greens team It seems that some readers have taken my comments on the...