What can you do

What You Can Do

Reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions is everyone’s responsibility. Simple changes to everyday activities, office buildings and homes can greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Choose Solar Energy

solar panels

Collecting solar energy from the sun is an environmentally sustainable way to heat your home, to heat water and to generate electricity:

Your Home - Passive Solar Heating

In Mosman, the installation of solar panels or photovoltaic cells for generating electricity and heating water is classified as ‘Exempt Development’ and in most cases does not require Council approval provided that certain basic requirements are met.

A summary of the ‘Exempt Development’ requirements for installing solar panels is provided below:

  1. The system is integrated into the building or is flush or parallel with the surface of its roof; and
  2. The development does not reduce the structural integrity of, or involve structural alterations to the building; and
  3. The development does not necessitate the removal of trees from near the building to ensure that solar energy is available for the system; and
  4. On average, over any 5 year period, at least 75 per cent of the electricity generated by the system in a 12 month period is used in or for the building; and
  5. The system is not located on a building that is a State or local heritage item or is in a heritage conservation area.

Further advice can be obtained from Council’s Development Advisor who is available for public consultation between the hours of 8.30am – 10.30am, Monday to Friday or by phone – 9978 4172.

Recycle Your Spare Fridge

Getting rid of your spare old fridge or upright freezer is one of the easiest steps you can take to cut your power bills.

Inefficient second fridges and freezers are one of the home’s biggest energy guzzlers, consuming up to three times the energy of new fridges. Running a second fridge adds an average of $300 a year to your power bills and results in greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Old upright freezers use almost as much power as an old fridge.

Fridge Buyback is a residential energy savings program that actually pays you to reduce your power bills and help save the environment by giving up your old second fridge or upright freezer. The appliances are professionally degassed and the metals recycled.

To participate, your fridge or upright freezer must be a working, second appliance that has been in regular use and is 200 litres (7.06 cubic feet) or more in volume.

Fridges and freezers are collected by professional removalists and a $15 rebate is paid if the removal involves stairs with six steps or less. Collection is free, but no rebate is paid, where collection involves between seven to 20 steps). A fee will apply only if the property has more than 20 steps.

There are regular collection runs every few weeks in most built-up areas.

Ring 1800 708 401 to book or see www.fridgebuyback.com.au for more information.

Fridge Buyback is an energy savings program operating under the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme and is supported by Council. The program is independently operated by Next Energy Pty Ltd.

Practical Suggestions for Everyone

Lighting

  • Remember to switch off lights whenever you leave a room
  • Switch off outdoor lights when not in use or install motion sensors &/or timers
  • Install a separate light switch for each light fitting so that you only turn on the lights you need
  • Install energy efficient lights. CFL’s reduce GHG emissions by 75% and last up to 8 times longer

Heating and Cooling

  • Insulate the ceiling, walls and floors to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer
  • Choose a reverse cycle cooling/heating system that is more energy efficient, and set a timer to run the system only when needed. For more info: www.energyrating.gov.au
  • Keep curtains or blinds closed in summer and open in winter at windows exposed to the sun
  • Landscape your garden to provide shade in summer and access to sunlight in winter

Appliances

  • Wash clothes in cold water – this generates less than 1/3 of a kg of GHG compared to up to 4 kgs when washing in hot water
  • Dry clothes on the clothes line or rack instead of using a dryer and save up to 3 kg of GHG
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine on a full load
  • Recycle your second fridge, or only switch it on when needed
  • Cook or reheat food in the microwave to reduce GHG emissions
  • When appliances need to be replaced, purchase energy and water efficient models
  • Switch off appliances such as the TV, DVD, CD player and computer when not in use. Using the standby mode can account for 10% of a households energy use, so switch appliances off at the power point to save more

Reducing Waste

  • Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (refuse plastic bags at the shops, reduce the amount of packaging and only buy what you need, reuse containers, clothing and other materials, recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce and reuse – Council recycles products numbered 1-7)
  • Start a compost or worm farm using green waste and food scraps (end product will provide free, natural fertiliser for the garden)
  • Choose organic products, or grow your own organic food

Transport

  • Exercise and save money whilst helping the environment. Leave the car at home – ride your bike, walk or catch public transport Plan Your Trip
  • Car pool with family, friends and/or colleagues rather than driving alone
  • Reduce air travel, or offset your emissions through an accredited program
  • When purchasing a new car choose a hybrid vehicle or a vehicle that is more fuel efficient. For more info: Green Vehicle Guide

GreenPower

  • Switch to GreenPower , and purchase renewable energy from an accredited supplier.
  • Install a solar hot water system
  • Install solar panels on the roof to gain electricity from a renewable source. Rebates are offered by the Australian Government – go to Solar Homes & Communities Plan

Join a Climate Action Group

Further information on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is available from Office of Environment and Heritage - Climate Change .