Since 2004, the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) has been an integral part of the planning process for NSW dwellings. Introduced to ensure all dwellings in NSW are energy and water efficient, the Department of Planning and Environment explains that the BASIX is one of the strongest sustainable planning measures to be undertaken in Australian and aims to deliver equitable, effective water and greenhouse gas reductions across the state.
On most occasions builders will complete the BASIX for the homeowner, but it's a good idea for people to discuss energy efficiency options with experts who can help them decide on the best options. Marketing Manager of Orana Energy Systems Suellyn Rees believes the index is essential to help ensure there is reduced demand on our current resources.
"It's important for everyone to work towards a sustainable future," Ms Rees said. "The more we can do to become energy and water efficient is not only beneficial to the environment, it is beneficial to our pockets. It can mean real long-term savings".
And, as the sustainable living movement continues to gain momentum, so too, does the market for associated products. "Most people also now realise this is an important move forward," Ms Rees said. "Products in this market are now more affordable, which is allowing the average family to build more efficient homes, benefiting themselves and the environment".
You have to remember that the BASIX is a guide of least requirements. "If a home owner really wants to make their home more efficient, which will also mean it is more cost effective to run (meaning more long-term savings and more comfortable living), it is better to look at all of the options. For example solar power and solar hot water".
When solar panels were first introduced the installation cost was sometimes prohibitive, however, with lower solar prices and the affordable finance options now on offer, there's no reason why all families can't have a domestic solar installation. "It's a smart thing to do," Ms Rees said. "When you think about it, there's nothing else you buy for your home that will actually pay for itself and save you money."