How to save money on power bills forever

Expert tips for low-energy climate control
John Downs

If you’re renovating or building from scratch, architect Simon Anderson has these design tips for low-energy climate control


Position larger windows to face north or north-east. The higher angle of the sun will result in less heat transmission than the low-angle rays hitting an east-facing or west-facing window.


The angle of sunlight changes with the season. Design the pitch and depth of external shades such as eaves, verandah roofs and awnings to shade from summer sun while admitting winter sun and light.


Louvres can open up to 95 per cent to capture the breeze, while casement windows can redirect it inside. Place openings opposite each other and provide pathways for cool air to flow. High-level openings help hot air escape, such as opening skylights positioned on less-exposed roof faces or with shading.


This is critical, especially in the roof due to its exposure to the sun. There is a sweet spot, though – too much insulation can be a waste of money. A thermal modeling program can determine the most cost-effective amount.

Buffer zones

Buffer heat before it hits the house, with a shaded outdoor area. Strategic positioning of water features – even a pool – will have an evaporative effect on hot air and cool it before it hits the house.

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