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A Guide to Cutting Carbon to Achieve Net-Zero

Climate change is real and scientists are warning that the Earth only has eight-12 years before it hits the point of no return. Of course, the world ending (or becoming drastically altered) within that precarious period is still up for debate — however, taking steps to diminish your carbon footprint is necessary more than ever.

Cut Your Power Consumption

Australia’s power grid is mostly powered by fossil fuels. The country burns significant amounts of oil, coal and natural gas to power its massive plants — sending tons of carbon into the air to power both residential and commercial establishments.

Limit your own consumption (and your carbon footprint) by taking steps to make your house more energy-efficient — and one of the best ways to do so is by insulating your house.

Your roof is the most crucial place for insulation, as insulating it will minimize heat transfer — whether going in or coming out. Opt for cavity sliding door systems instead of hinged ones. Insulated cavity sliders (with composite gaskets) can keep out warm or cold air almost completely. The same sliders inside your house allow you to partition certain areas so you can localize your internal heating or cooling systems. Use insulated glass on your windows and doors or apply UV-filtering film to limit heat transfer from direct sunlight.

Proper insulation can cut your power consumption by 20-30 percent. Energy-efficient appliances are also essential in cutting down your consumption. Use appliances that utilize inverter technology — particularly for your freezers, refrigerators, air conditioning and dryers.

solar energy

Get Your Electricity from the Sun

Another way to diminish your reliance on the grid is to produce your own electricity. The price of solar power systems is becoming increasingly affordable. Completely powering a two to three bedroom house with an 8-kW system only costs around $8,000-$12,000. For the price of a used car, you can have free electricity for 35-45 years.

Even if your electricity bills cost a mere $100, you’ll be saving around $40,000-$50,000 over the life of your panels. Of course, you’ll still rely on the grid for your home’s nighttime use — but you’ll be sending enough excess power to the grid to cover it. If you produce more than you consume, then you’ll even be net-positive.

Ditch Your Gas-Guzzler

Aussie drivers spend between $2,000-$3,500 on petrol every year. Although electric vehicles (EVs) may be a bit pricier, charging it won’t cost you more than $800 a year. You’ll be saving more than $1,000-$2,000 a year and you won’t be belching smoke and other particulates into your city streets.

You’ll also get better maneuvering, faster acceleration and an overall smoother ride. Most modern EVs can run more than 100 miles on a full charge, so you shouldn’t need to charge outside unless you’re going on long trips and crossing state lines. Combined with the solar power system in your house, an electric vehicle will put you far into being net-positive on your energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Cutting your carbon footprint won’t cost a fortune. In fact, heading toward the goal of becoming net-zero/net-positive can save you a lot of money. Going solar can save almost $10,000-$30,000 over a lifetime and an electric vehicle can save you $1,000-$2000 every year. Of course, you’ll also be saving the environment while you’re at it.

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