Opened in 2012, the Smart Living Ballarat Centre is located in a shop front in the heart of Ballarat in Lydiard Street, within the Mining Exchange, It provides a one-stop shop for people seeking information on smart living practices around five themes: Home, Environment, Water, Transport and Food. Their goal is to support the Ballarat community to live comfortably whilst also looking after the environment that supports us.
The average Victorian home rates less than three stars for energy efficiency. A minimum five-star energy rating has now been introduced for new homes. These homes will be more comfortable, cost less to cool and heat, and help the environment. The following measures will help improve the energy efficiency of your home:
Insulation - half the heat entering or escaping your home comes through ceilings and walls.
Windows - external devices are more effective at keeping heat out than internal curtains or blinds. To retain heat use pelmets with curtains and double glazed windows.
Seal your home - up to 15% of heat entering or escaping a home comes through gaps and cracks. Use draught excluders to seal external gaps.
Fans - use fans to generate cool air or distribute heat. They are economical to run.
Cooling - Put refrigerators or freezers in cool places and only open briefly and when required.
Place air conditioners away from direct sunlight. Cool living areas or bedrooms to no less than 24 degrees Celsius.
Appliances - Choose appliances with five-star or higher energy ratings and use compact fluorescent globes.
Landscaping - careful placement of trees, shrubs, and vines will protect windows and walls from heat, maximise the effects of cool changes and let in light and heat in winter.