Since Peter and Di moved to Clifton Hill in 1982 the area has undergone a lot of change.
A landfill at the end of their street is now Yarra Bend Park, part of a series of sprawling inner city reserves which hug Merri Creek and the Yarra.
It’s hard to believe the freeway is only a few hundred metres away and you’re four kilometres from the city.
The days of buying a cheap fixer-upper in now-gentrified Clifton Hill are long gone, but more change is on the way as renewable energy becomes a popular way to cut energy costs.
“Being able to tap into the rebate program was a great help,” said Peter. “We’d been thinking about solar for some time, but being able to get some extra help from the government has really made a difference.”
Peter and Di are self-funded retirees so getting the most from their energy-saving is important. They’re still waiting for their first full-quarter bill, but their last one, covering the before-and-after solar installation period, was in the order of $60
Although their home, typical of many in Clifton Hill is more than a century old, the energy efficient couple’s home is doing better than many to keep energy bills down.
Di said that even on the hottest of days their well-established front and rear gardens provide shade that stops the hot sun from hitting the house.
Importantly, many things can reduce the use of air conditioning, and help to get better value from it if you do. Set the thermostat at 24-26 degrees as each degree lower increases cooling costs by 10 per cent.
“The gardens are an important part of our lifestyle, while the ceiling-mounted fans keep the air moving and on extreme days we can turn on the air conditioner.” Di said.
Find out more about how to get the most from your solar panels by making other energy efficiency upgrades from Sustainability Victoria - sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/save-energy.
Reviewed 25 June 2019