Emissions down – and it pays!

Figures released by the Climate Group show Australian emissions from energy use across four states – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria – fell 1.6 per cent over the past three months. These three months of summer often see big jumps in power use. It’s the hottest time of the year, air conditioners are running full bore and this Australian summer was hotter than average.

Cut energy use and you cut your costs. That is a lot of these sorts of changes are profitable. The big picture is if we put some of the profits into generating renewable energy, Australia could cut emissions 35% by 2030 – at no cost! For details on how see the McKinsey Greenhouse Gas cost curves.

But can you really make this change? The picture shows a recent addition at my house – a pergola shading north facing windows. The heat reflective panels (opaque) are for summer. When the sun is lower in winter is will warm the house through the clear panels on the left.

The cost? This was financed with an Australian Government Green Loan. The monthly payments on this loan for summer are approximately equal to the power we saved by not using the air conditioning. The bonus – the north facing rooms in the house are noticeably cooler and, in a couple of years, we’ll be banking the savings!