In all all-electric community, new home energy solutions are needed to replace the use of gas in the home.
Ginninderry’s home energy solutions set out to maximise energy efficiency without decreasing – and often actually improving – function.
Instead of gas heating, all Ginninderry homes can be fitted with reverse cycle air conditioners, capable of heating the home in winter as well as any gas system, and also just as capable of cooling the home in summer.
The sun is a free heater! Before installing any other heating systems, make the most of it by designing your home to let in sunlight during winter and keep it out during summer. Use passive cooling and natural ventilation before considering expensive heating and cooling systems.
Gas hot water systems are replaced at Ginninderry with an electric heat-pump hot water system. Heat pump hot water systems use the same technology as reverse cycle air conditioners. They can be highly efficient because most of the energy used to heat the water is extracted from the outside air.
There is a common but mistaken view that heat pump hot water systems are not suitable for the Canberra climate. This is certainly the case for some models, and it is generally true that the efficiency of a heat pump hot water system is sensitive to the surrounding air temperature. However, there are several models specifically designed to cope with colder climates. These include:
- Sanden Eco Hot Water Heat Pump https://www.sanden-hot-water.com.au/
- Stiebel Eltron Heat Pumps https://www.stiebel.com.au/hot-water-heat-pumps
Look for systems with frost protection and more than 30 STCs (Small Technology Certificates). The more STCs a system achieves, the better. Check the technical data available for the system – ensure that the temperature application range listed includes temperatures down to -5 or -10oC.
Your heat pump hot water system can also be coupled with your PV system to ensure that water is mostly heated when the sun is out and your PV panels are producing energy.
More details on heating and hot water can be found in our design requirements (part 5, sustainable design requirements)
And of course, in place of gas stoves, homes at Ginninderry will benefit from much more efficient Induction cooktops.