August 22, 2007 Australia will again be celebrating sustainable housing at this year's Sustainable House Day to be held on Sunday 9 September 2007. The event, organized by the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, is a national open house day for sustainably designed houses and will take place only in Australia this year.
As part of the national event the New South Wales region will be showcasing 30 new and renovated homes, all displaying ‘passive’ solar design and many also featuring ‘active’ solar measures such as solar hot water and solar electricity generated via photoelectric roof panels. Visitors will receive an information kit and learn how homes are energy rated in addition to speaking with the designers and householders. The National Sustainable House Day Coordinator, Julien Lacave said that “Sustainable House Day is a chance to see houses utilizing rather than exploiting nature’s natural energies.”
The event aims to demonstrate how good design can virtually eliminate the need for heating and cooling and thus save money and the environment. In a move to encourage sustainability in the home the Australian Government, a major supporter of Sustainable House Day, has invested $252.2million over five years to a solar hot water initiative. Residents can apply for one of up to up to 225,000 rebates of $1,000 to install solar and heat pump hot water systems. This is to help combat the estimated 27.5 tons of greenhouse gases that each Australian on average is responsible for emitting each year.
The event now in its sixth year was originally known as Solar House Day but was changed to reflect the broader energy and water saving properties of the houses on display. It costs AUD$5 to visit each house with no need to book tickets in advance - these can be purchased from the first house attended.