Between late 2009 and mid-2010 Steplight supported the implementation of a Y Green program in northern NSW. This program in the Ballina Shire local government area was funded by Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers and TAFE NSW – North Coast Institute.
Just under 15 students completed the full Y Green program. This involved completing the course in Home Sustainability Assessment at Wollongbar TAFE and then going on to apply this knowledge ‘in the field’ by conducting household energy and water assessments in the local community.
The home assessments are completed with the assistance of Steplight’s home sustainability program. This includes access to custom developed software, assessment tools (such as a netbook computer and plug-in power meter). Each household receives an action plan after their assessment. Most homes are then reviewed with a follow-up telephone interview a few months after receiving their action plan.
Interestingly, the homes from this program are officially the most ‘energy efficient’ homes of any Steplight program to-date (Y Green or other). There are a few practical reasons for this, such as:
- Their northern NSW location meant negligible heating load compared to the rest of the state (which partly explains why their energy use is lower than the state average).
- There was already a relatively high penetration of solar hot water systems (and hot water is usually the biggest energy consumer in homes, so this can make a big difference).
But, it just shows, even those doing well can improve a great deal. In particular, it is worth noting from the follow-up reviews that:
- A high percentage of residents are now taking simple action to further reduce their impact (such as switching off their stand-by loads and decreasing refrigeration usage).
- Even more homes have now made the switch to solar or heat pump hot water.
To view our summary of results from this Y Green program click the image below. Please contact Steplight for permission to reproduce these results elsewhere.
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