ReNew Issue 140

Winter issue – All-electric homes, insulation buyers guide and more

ReNew 140 takes all-electric homes as its focus. We dig a bit deeper into all-electric heating and cooking options, look at when three-phase power is needed and provide an update on the economics for solar households. Our buyers guide covers insulation options for ceilings, walls and floors. We also consider internal window coverings, renewable energy for Indigenous communities and case studies galore of all-electric retrofits/building projects, insulation installation and tips and experiences with induction cooking and much more.

Issue Contents:

Issue 140 is hot off the press and full of advice for your sustainable home this winter. As always, ReNew comes overflowing with articles to satisfy both the technically and the not-so-technically minded. Regardless of whether your interest is transitioning your home to all-electric, insulation options, choosing window coverings or building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), there is something for everyone in this issue.

ReNew 140 has a special feature on all-electric homes and going off gas. Inside you’ll find:

Special feature: All-electric homes

Three steps to all-electric

An overview of the steps to going all-electric, and where to find more information.

Gas vs electricity: which fuel is cheapest?

The latest modelling by the ATA is showing that the financial equation is even better now for homes with solar to go off gas.

The gradual path to all-electric

This Canberra house is a ‘poster child’ for getting off gas, but it didn’t start that way. Ben Elliston describes his comfortable, cost-effective home.

Money-saving results in Melbourne

Even though Stephen and his wife Stacey have different heater thermostat requirements, they’ve found comfort easy to come by with their all-electric home.

Sealed with a SIP

With a PV system well matched to usage, this airtight SIPs home is proving energy efficient and low-bill.

All-electric development

Simple measures have meant this ‘normal’ suburban home is much more comfortable and cheaper to run than the average.

Convert to induction

Keen cook Sophie Liu describes how induction cooking won her over.

Time to disconnect

What’s involved—process- and fee-wise—in disconnecting from the gas network?

One phase or three

When might your home need three-phase power, and what does it mean for a solar (or battery) system? Lance Turner reports.

Time to challenge gas slogans

Misleading or out-of-date marketing by gas distributors needs to be questioned, writes Kate Leslie.

Other features

Not just window dressing

High-performance blinds and curtains can perform like double glazing. Anna Cumming explores the options + case studies.

Prefab performance

Just like an esky, this house is built from insulated panels, and the effect on heating/cooling energy use is being monitored.

Energy justice for First Nations

Affordable renewable energy for First Nations communities is the goal of this new alliance.

Wall insulation retrofits on trial

With many older houses coming in at 1 Star, efficiency retrofits are sorely needed. Sustainability Victoria has done the modelling and trials.

Solar sizing: big returns

Even if you don’t use much electricity, there are now good economic reasons to ‘go big’ when installing solar. Andrew Reddaway reports.


Insulation buyers guide: the key to thermal performance

Is your home hot in summer and freezing in winter? It probably has little or no insulation. Use our guide to understand the types of insulation available and where it’s needed.

Insulation upgrades

Three reader stories on the process and results of insulation upgrades, including blow-in wall insulation and an underfloor installation done DIY. Plus one household has also gone all-electric, with pleasing bill and greenhouse gas results.


The Pears Report: Far from the madding policy

Are we finally moving from energy policy madness to policy making? Alan Pears explores the glimmers of hope.

Member profile: Tinkering at home and abroad

A little tinkering goes a long way. Daryl Douglass tells the ATA’s Richard Finn of his adventures in Brisbane, Cairns and a remote village in Nepal.