Here is a short video (.59 seconds) showing how to insulate a double brick wall.
“After our tour of your house you mentioned that you could tell us how to run our swimming pool more efficiently and cheaply.
This enquiry just in from Richard:
“I have 8 solar panels on my roof but they are now shaded by a neighbour’s tree, particularly in winter.
Two homegrown Sydney-based technology companies will provide two ‘Off-the-Grid Guy’s" projects with solar and energy monitoring over the Internet.
Conserving land, water and energy benefits all of us.
On Monday 15 February ABC Radio National presenter, Ellen Fanning, spoke to Chris Dunston, Phillip Vannini and myself about going off-grid.
Phillip made the documentary, Life Off Grid, and Chris is a Director of Research at the Institute of Sustainability at the University of Technology.
Our conversation is about 25 minutes and you can hear it here.
Maria and I, Chippendale residents, rescued a citrus tree in the road verge from stink bugs today
Terrific question just in about gutters from Joel in Queensland about buying gutters.
Four workers are recycling bricks and mortar at Kylie’s off-grid house.
Two months since it was installed the trial Streetgarden is proving effective at feeding its tree and keeping water where it falls.
This question comes up every tour of Sydney's Sustainable House, and in many conversations I have with those thinking of making their power from the sun's energy.
It took over 15 months but Sydney off-grid champion Kylie Ahern has won her battle with Marrickville Council to have a rain tank and disconnect from Sydney Water.
The Australian Consumer's Association has reviewed Australia's energy retailers to measure how they compare with each other's green energy options. Published in the latest online edition of CHOICE, the ratings are extracted in this blog post
Here are some products and suppliers being used at the Kylie Off-grid Project. This list will be added to during the project.
“Off-grid projects are about personal liberty. It’s about my freedom to choose low household bills, to decide where and how I get my energy and water.”
Moi - Michael Mobbs
What’s the reform?
Automatic approvals for off-grid projects.
End the current 7 to 12 months council approval time which results in many farmers and city householders abandoning their off-grid dreams.
Rate rebates and exemption from stormwater charges are needed by farmers and city folk who conserve water, soil, trees or energy.
When a farmer or city property owner spend their own money to conserve natural resources they provide a public benefit beyond their property
Last Friday the first trial drain garden was installed in the footpath outside 13 Oxford St, Newtown as part of Kylie Ahern's off-grid renovation.
The drain garden has these components: a sump into which water drains from the road gutter; two long pits with plants and grates over through which the plants may grow; an overflow point for when the pit fills; capacity to harvest over 29,000 litres of road water a year.
It's designed to bring previously wasted road runoff to irrigate the tree roots below the surface. The aim is to increase the tree height and canopy and to thereby cool the street. If we harvest previously wasted road stormwater to irrigate trees we can cool our cities by several degrees and increase the health of the air we need to live and that's needed by all that's living in cities.
We'll monitor and report on its performance, particularly the accumulation of sediment in the first sump; there's a removable 'pot' to enable easy removal of sediment.
The cost to Kylie of this trial drain garden is $2400. With simpler design and multiple production we expect this to halve.
We're seeking rate rebates and exemption from stormwater levies for Kylie from the local council and the local monopoly water provider, Sydney Water. We're asking governments to give rate rebates to farmers and householders who conserve water and energy on their land and provide a public benefit beyond their boundary. We'll keep you informed about this, too.
Unfortunately, in the brutal way only governments can be, the local council imposed a $3,000 developer levy on Kylie's renovation approval for it to carry out stormwater works; an act of silliness but that, too, is a work in progress as Kylie is seeking a refund.
Anyway, hang on sad tree, water is on its way to you.