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Energy efficient technologies

There are so many ways of improving the energy efficiency of your home or business. But beware of people who door knock with offers that sound too good to be true. It’s important to go to reputable suppliers. Find out more:

Hot water heat pumps
Air conditioning heat pumps
Induction cooktops

Heat pumps generally

SwitchedOn from Renew Economy has an excellent web page called: So you want to buy a heat pump: Here’s how. “Independent energy advisor and researcher, Tim Forcey unpacks what you need to know.”

Hot water heat pumps 

Hot water heat pumps take heat energy from the external atmosphere and transfer that energy inside the hot water tank. They can look very similar to the standard electric resistive hot water tank which many homes have installed except they have the addition of a compressor, similar to an air conditioner.

The miracle of a heat pump is its energy efficiency – which can be as much as 400%.  A traditional electric hot water system typically uses a 2.4kW element. But a heat pump can give you the same amount of hot water using as little as 0.8kW (800 watts). This results in a huge saving in electrical energy.

Source: Australian Energy Foundation, The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Hot Water Heat Pump

What’s more, you can power a heat pump hot water unit during the daytime using your own generated solar electricity. When you do so, your hot water costs are minimal. Indeed, with solar feed in tariffs dropping to almost zero, it is a very important way you can self-consume your own generated electricity.

Plus, in NSW, there are government financial incentives in place for you to change out your old hot water system for an energy efficient hot water heat pump. So, if you are considering installing a heat pump, it’s important to ask the right questions.

Renewable Cobargo is investigating doing a bulk buy with suppliers of the three models demonstrated at our Heat Pump Expo (1 July 2023), the Reclaim, the Sanden and the iStore – let us know if you’re interested.

Learn more about hot water heat pumps. Download this comprehensive guide to choosing heat pumps (PDF) published by the Australian Energy Foundation.

Air-conditioning heat pumps

Modern split system air conditioners are heat pumps. Whether used for heating or cooling, they transfer heat energy in the desired direction using the high efficiency of heat pump technology. 

How do you currently heat your home living spaces? Electric radiators, electric column heaters, gas heaters, combustion fireplaces? A heat pump air conditioner can warm a living space at a fraction of the cost of using other forms of heating, especially compared to resistive electric heating and LPG gas heating. For example, an 8kW heating output air conditioner will only use 2kW of input power. It will adequately heat a medium to large sized living space. This input power is the equivalent of a two-bar electric radiator, which in no way would be able to heat such a space.

It is very important to purchase a reverse cycle air conditioner that is adequately sized for the space you want to heat or cool.  A quality installer will provide you with this advice.  There may also be NSW government financial incentives available for installing heat pump air conditioners and your installer can advise about those too.

Designed by macrovector / Freepik

Induction cooktops

Induction appliances are much more efficient than traditional cooktop appliances. In fact, about 300% more efficient than gas and more efficient than smooth top (ceramic) electric ranges. Greater efficiency means lower running costs.

And if you’re changing from a gas cooktop, you’ll no longer be producing noxious gases such as nitrous oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (HCHO) in your kitchen. So, not only is induction cooking good for your wallet, it’s also good for the planet and good for your health!

So how does induction cooking work?

An intense electro-magnetic field induces a circulating current in the pot or pan, which in turn is converted into heat energy. This means that only the cookware and the food heats up – no energy is wasted, resulting in energy efficiency. Induction cooking can boil water 20-40% faster than gas and traditional electric cooktops. The electromagnetic field also provides more precise, even-heating compared to traditional cooktops. Chefs love them!

There are safety benefits to be gained too from using induction cooktops . Less chance of burns because of the ‘cool’ glass surface. The only surface heat on the glass comes from the residual heat of the pot or pan being used. 

Cleaning up?

The smooth glass cooktop makes it easy to wipe off any spills. No tricky hobs or crevices to have to deal with anymore.

Do I need to buy a whole set of new cookware? 

You are likely to find that most of your existing cookware will work with induction cooktops. Cookware needs to be iron or steel as these materials are magnetic. You can test it yourself – if a magnet sticks to the pot or pan, it will probably work fine on an induction cooktop.

Our Community Energy Coordinators offer free consultations

Drop-in Wednesday mornings

We’re at the Community Access Centre (next to the Cobargo Co-Op) to discuss your energy bills and energy needs.

Make an appointment

We do site visits to help you think about solar installations, heat pumps and other energy installations/options.

Contact David Neyle
david.neyle@renewablecobargo.com or 0405 383 692

Contact Fiona Drum
Fiona.drum@renewablecobargo.com or 0419 718 615