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    Transition your home from fossil fuels, now

    Date:

    By Ali Manns

    There are few individuals who can say they have been invited into over 1000 homes – and left each one better than they found it but Tim Forcey is one. As an energy efficiency consultant, Tim has assessed homes across Melbourne for almost two decades. He leaves owners equipped with strategies to improve the health and comfort of their home while also reducing its running costs and environmental footprint.

    With today’s cost of living crisis and Victoria’s rapidly diminishing gas supplies it is most definitely time to flip the switch. In Tim’s words, he is “on a crusade” to get Victorian homes off health-compromising gas specifically and away from fossil fuels in general by moving to clean electricity as soon as possible. It is a matter of urgency for individuals to take control of their households: for greater energy efficiency and to take action on the Climate Emergency. And his message is getting out.

    Since starting the My Efficient Electric Home (MEEH) group on Facebook in 2008 to share his expertise and research findings, its online community has grown to over 118,000 members.

    The page has become an immeasurably valuable resource, with members sharing their journeys, providing technical information, provider recommendations and ongoing updates as government rebates, tech options and new data appear.

    On the back of 15 years sharing expertise online, in articles and podcasts, Tim has written the essential manual for Australian home owners and renters making the transition. My Efficient Electric Home Handbook (Murdoch Books) is a distillation of personal experience converting his own Melbourne home and professional expertise helping others. It covers the topics of ‘heating and cooling, hot water heat pumps, induction cooktops, draught-proofing, insulation, solar energy and much more’.

    With his own home now having energy expenses of only $600 a year (down from $3600) Tim has walked his own talk. Three areas he suggests looking at first are:

    1. Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner –

    Use for winter heating. His 2015 research at Melbourne University identified the RCAC as the most efficient home heating source, running at one third the cost of natural gas and one fifth the cost of standard electric heaters.

    2. Sealing draughts

    To avoid heat loss through a leaky house, check windows, doors and obsolete vents for gaps and stop up as necessary. One caveat being the removal of gas appliances first to prevent containing carbon monoxide.

    3. Insulation

    Make insulating roof cavities a priority to conserve heat in the home. Check that any existing insulation is sitting properly and in good condition. Add more as required or if there is none have it installed as a priority. The cost of installation will be returned quickly in savings on heat and cooling. 

    For more steps and strategies, Tim will be presenting at the Living Future Expo in Footscray on Sunday 2 June.

    My Efficient Electric Home Handbook (Murdoch Books) is available to pre-order online now and released on 18 June.

    Ali Manns
    Ali Manns
    Ali Manns is a Permaculture Designer and Educator living in Yarraville and can be found at nurturingearth.com.au.

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