Life Begins At...

The Retiree Magazine Summer 2011-12

Life Begins At.....

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Page 149 of 171

ECO HOMES S 144 THE RETIREE SUMMER ustainable Living Alternative home energy systems There are many ways to make your home healthier and more comfortable while saving money with a range of sustainable energy options and techniques, writes Ian Porter. Alternative home energy systems are a natural choice for retirees and people near retirement. That's because solar power, solar hot water and energy efficiency are part of a clean and healthy lifestyle decision, one made by an increasing number of Australians. Currently in most parts of Australia there is a boom in solar panel installation. According to the Clean Energy Council, there were more than 100,000 rooftop solar systems installed between January and October 2010 – more than for the entire previous decade. Figures show that sea-change areas favoured by retirees, such as Victor Harbor in South Australia and Maroochydore and Caloundra in Queensland, have some of the highest percentages of homes in Australia with solar panels. Prices for solar photovoltaic panels have been dropping steadily in recent years as a result of a worldwide expansion in production, manufacturing changes and falling prices for silicon – the key ingredient of most solar panels. Prices for solar technology are expected to continue to fall, and at a time of climbing power bills, investing in solar panels

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