Planning energy efficient homes

We're using geographic information and thermal mapping to help individual home owners and councils plan more energy efficient and sustainable infrastructure.

The Challenge

Finding the right energy solutions for your home

Ever wondered how hot your home gets in summer or how cold it is in winter? Think solar is a good idea but not quite sure if it would work on your roof? Wondering if it’s worth investing in a rainwater tank?

Making decisions on your home’s energy supply mix can be difficult, and even though there's a lot of information available, most of it is very general. Solutions that make sense in northern Canada, for example, won’t apply in a warmer climate. Customised and specific information is needed to help make cost effective decisions about your home's energy efficiency.

Our Response

My Climate

In collaboration with Monash University and the City of Port Phillip we developed My Climate, an interactive tool that residents can use to access specific information about their home's energy consumption.

My Climate displaying heat loss from residential homes.

My Climate uses geographic information system (GIS) mapping – a computer tool that can capture and display data specific to positions on Earth's surface, together with thermal mapping taken from aerial flyovers and seven temporary weather stations to show land surface temperatures. This information can be used to show winter heat loss, rainfall and the solar potential of all buildings in the region.

The Results

Informed decisions for sustainable infrastructure

Using My Climate individual community members can make informed cost/benefit analyses of home improvements.

They can calculate the most appropriate solar system for their homes, the most effective location for it, and the potential savings in electricity costs and CO2 emissions. They can also get accurate data on local rainfall, enabling them to decide if water tanks are a worthwhile investment, and where and how large they should be.

My Climate also enables councils using the tool to gather point specific data that can make their urban planning more sustainable. The data can help in designing public places to reduce the urban heat island effect. It means councils can establish their priorities on green infrastructure, and explore alternative greening opportunities and water sensitive trees, and water sensitive urban design to mitigate urban heat islands.


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