Savings for you and the environment

If you own a home or are looking to buy or build, there are many ways you can incorporate sustainable living into your everyday life.

By using less water and energy around the home, you will be doing your bit for the environment and you’ll also save a few dollars off your water and energy bills.

From 1 March, 2006 changes to law will require new houses in Queensland to be more sustainable, ensuring they use water and energy more efficiently.

This will result in new houses using 33 per cent less electricity and up to 36 per cent less water.

As part of these laws, all new houses will be required to have:

  • Water efficient AAA-rated shower roses
  • Dual-flush toilets
  • Energy efficient lighting in at least 40 per cent of the house
  • Water pressure limiting devices in areas with high water pressure

New units and major renovations to existing homes will require some of these measures.

Under the laws, all newly built houses in Queensland are required to have fittings that are water and energy efficient. However, you can easily incorporate these fittings into your home.

Here are some ways to save water and energy in your home

1. Change to a AAA-rated shower rose

One AAA-rated shower rose will use up to 9 litres of water per minute, which is less than half of a conventional shower rose, which can use up to 25 litres of water per minute.

2. Switch to a dual-flush toilet

The bathroom accounts for around a quarter of household water usage. A dual-flush toilet uses 60 % less water than a single-flush toilet.

3. Use energy efficient lighting

By replacing a regular bulb with a compact fluorescent globe, you could reduce the amount of energy you use for lighting by up to 80 %. They are much cheaper to run and can last around ten thousand hours.

4. Switch to a greenhouse energy efficient hot water system

When it comes time to replace your old hot water system, consider replacing it with a solar, electric heat pump or gas hot water system.

5. Has your house got high water pressure? Is water being wasted?

There are various ways of limiting the flow of water from your taps. This can range from a $2 water saving disc to a more sophisticated water pressure limiting device fitted to your water mains.

Just remember that whatever you do – no matter how small – you can make a difference. Sustainable living is living for now and for the future.

More information

The introduction of these new sustainable measures followed a community consultation process which involved a discussion paper released in December 2004

Sustainable housing measures are being implemented through the Standard Building Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2006 ( PDF 219 kB), which calls up Rainwater Tanks (Part 25) and Sustainable Buildings (Part 29) of the Queensland Development Code

A workshop to develop a better understanding of appropriate building design for tropical Queensland was held in Townsville in February 2005. Contentious issues raised in this workshop are discussed in a new report, Energy Efficient House Design for Tropical Queensland ( PDF 523 kB), which is available for download.

For more information about sustainable living in your local area, contact your local council, email Building Codes Queensland, or phone 07 3239 6369.

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