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.
Collecting solar energy from the sun is an environmentally sustainable way to heat your home, to heat water and to generate electricity:
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:
- The system is integrated into the building or is flush or parallel with the surface of its roof; and
- The development does not reduce the structural integrity of, or involve structural alterations to the building; and
- The development does not necessitate the removal of trees from near the building to ensure that solar energy is available for the system; and
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
Further information on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is available from Office of Environment and Heritage - Climate Change .