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Sustainable Building

Build an energy efficient home

A well-designed home could result in significant savings on your energy bill, as well as creating a more comfortable living environment all year round. There are a few simple steps you can take when planning and building your new home, to create a smarter and energy efficient home. These actions will make your home more comfortable and lower your running costs throughout the life of your home.


When you build an energy efficient all-electric home, avoid gas connection and annual gas usage costs, as well as the upfront construction costs of connecting to gas and running gas plumbing through your home.

Roof Colour

A light-coloured roof will reflect the heat back away from your home helping to reduce your energy bills by keeping your roof cavity cool during summer and lowering the overall temperature of your home. Your home should have a lighter coloured roof with a solar absorptance value of less than 0.5. Find suppliers below in the Resources section. 

Hot water System

A typical home spends about one-third of their energy bill on hot water. For your energy efficient home install either an electric heat pump (heat pump) or an electric solar hot water system as these systems are highly energy efficient.


Installing a more energy efficient electric cooktop will reduce your home’s energy consumption and can also provide a number of additional benefits such as faster heating time, safety and ease of cleaning. These are the types of electric cooktops available:

  • Induction
  • Ceramic
  • Radiant coil
  • Solid hotplate


Energy Monitoring

One of the most effective ways to save money on your energy bills is to understand how and when you consume energy in your home. An energy monitoring system gives a visual indication of how much energy your home is using. It can measure, show, and store energy generation and/or consumption data. 

To get the most information out of your energy monitoring system, it should:

  • Monitor all electrical phases of your solar PV system
  • Be hard-wired to all energy systems
  • Display and record home electricity use in real time (or close to real time)
  • Communicate with a smart phone application or website

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling the spaces in your home accounts for about half of the total energy consumed in your home, so it needs to be efficient. There are several electric options on the market, so get advice about the best option for your home. These include:

  • Split system reverse cycle
  • Electric ducted split system air conditioner
  • Ducted whole of home evaporative cooling with a self-closing damper
  • Ground source heat pump
  • In-slab hydronic heating with an electric boiler
  • Ceiling fans

EV Charging Point

Put in an Electric Vehicle Charging power point. A dedicated 32 amp circuit with a 15 amp powerpoint installed on the wall of the car space or garage will future proof you house for electric vehicles.

For your safety, installation must be carried out by an ACT licensed electrician. We recommend the powerpoint, isolator and circuit breaker be labelled as Electric Vehicle Charging Point.

Solar PV

Solar photovoltaic (PV) is a technology that converts sunlight (solar radiation) into electricity using semiconductors. Solar PV systems enable you to generate your own electricity, helping to
your energy bills.

In the ACT, solar PV panels generate the most energy throughout the year when they are:

  • Facing north (or closest to), and
  • Not overshadowed by buildings or other structures.

When designing your home, you will need to consider the roof orientation, pitch and available space for the solar PV system so it is able to receive solar radiation and generate electricity.


Clean Energy Council

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is the peak body for clean energy in Australia. They work with industry to improve standards and quality of products and services.

Roof Colour

Find information about the Solar Absorptance (SA) value of roof colours at:

ACT Government policies

The ACT Government has a number of relevant policy documents and resources available at: