Being green..... home and portfolio

Are you green in the home you actually live in as well as your portfolio?

How do you balance (sometimes higher) cost of green options with maximising return in ips?

Or is it up to householders in each property to be green day to day ?
 
My IP is as green as it can sensibly get because it used to be my PPoR. It has a wood fire - that or you get $600+ bills each quarter in winter. Every time I go there now its cooler weather the tenants wax lyrical about how good the fire is. It gets very sub-zero at this house in winter and reverse cycle airconditioners really don't work when its that cold. The house is on rainwater and has greywater recycling just because there's no other options. All the piping runs hard against the stone, which goes a long way to stopping them freezing. Very very heavy curtains on all the windows. Didn't get around to getting a solar HWS as the ones with a frost rating are not cheap - shame, as the block runs east-west and has 100m of uninterrupted northerly aspect. We went to pretty extreme lengths to insulate and draft-proof this house to keep the cold out, with great success.

My PPoR sorely lacks insulation (very hard to get into the roof here) and can get drafty but the weather here is nowhere near as extreme as where my IP is so its not so bad. The kitchen was a horrific hotbox when we got it so this one room is completely insulated with R4 and it made a MASSIVE difference - we also put shadesails over all the west windows so the house is very pleasant to live in now. It just *happens* to have a solar HWS, nothing to do with me. This house will get demoted to an IP in however long it takes to build a new house.

New PPoR will be 5 star energy rated, if not 6 - as good as it gets in a house running north-south. It'll have a solar HWS (cheaper in the long run than a bottled gas one), and I also want solar heating on this one.

Both of the two older houses have 'waterwise' low maintainence gardens.

So the only reason I am going to have 3 relatively green houses is because I have managed to get myself into the awkward situation - twice in a row - of it being 'difficult' to sell my previous PPoR :rolleyes:

But honestly, everything we've done has simply been to save money on heating and cooling, not to save the planet. And I've turned the half acre of desert at the old house into a bit of a minor forest because I like looking at trees, not to reduce carbon in the air or anything.
 
Wish-ga! welcome back, hope life is going good.

We maximise greening as much as possible.

Our constructions all are over the 5 star requirements, it doesn't even take much..our PPOR will virtually be self sufficient, solar to the clacker. Mr OO is thinking practical ways of setting up what he wants included. Utilised.

Nature wise, we do what we can, keeping in mind it meets in agreeance with our landlord, it includes native tree plantings..anything we plant is drought tolerant, as native as possible, apart from Mr OO's one red rose bush.

We have lots of manure we supply not only our garden, but many others with.

In our residence and IP's it's all the globes Mr OO likes, economical, greeny stuff, forget what he calls them. He doesn't like waste, or lights left on unnecessarily, water waste and he has trained us all well.

He is from a non wasteful (lineage) family, they have great ideas on practical day to day stuff. So,they were greenies in a sense, before it came in..and I love nature, so it's been a nice combination.

Nice feeling.

When we finally get our PPoR it will be as sustainable as possible, I'm a bit excited and looking forward to that, utilising sunlight, natural light, solar power, building up natural grasses.

Also, BIG fans of Bill Mollison:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Mollison

and Peter Andrews:

http://www.naturalsequencefarming.com/

Forgot the rainwater tanks, any roofing being catchment - into rainwater tanks...also, another friend, (an investor), in a regional city nearby has his set up, built by he and his brother, self sufficient in re/ to power and water, all solar...it's fantastic. He gets credits back from power provider. Doesn't have any water bill, no power bill. I think he will set up some batteries to store the solar power tho'.

Has the most beautiful garden...clever buggar. We aspire to that self sufficiency.
 
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I'm pretty green.

I've got a big green lawn. I like to keep it well watered and fertilized, specially in summer. Remember, a green lawn is a lush dark green lawn that the kids can fall over on and not skin their knees. I like green trees. I've got tree's planted around my house. Grandma planted them 50 years ago, so thanks gran, they are big and shady. She planted nice european and English trees. So they are shady in summer, but in winter they let the sun in, so that's gotta be green, and they don't drop bark and crap all over the place and kill my lawn, and remember I like lawn even better than trees. It's not like theres any shortage of native tree's is there? And we've all seen what happens if you have native tree's next to your house in a fire eh?

I've got 3 green tractors and a green header. A green planter and airseeder. With a big lawn, I've got a green lawn mower, Oh! two actually, a small one and a big one. Mum drives the small one, dad and me bought her a big zero turn one, but she won't drive the flippen thing as it has no steering wheel, just levers, so me and dad have to drive it.

I like big green paddocks. The greener the better. If they are a light green colour I've not put on enough fertilizer. Dark green is better and means I'll grow a bigger crop and make more money and be able to buy more green stuff. My number one daughter has a green dirt bike.

Being green is great.


See ya's.
 
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I was going to ask how you know something REALLY is green but TC has left me speechless. Soon as I saw him post I thought of his header. :D
 
So much greenwashing...

Hi Wish-ga

Green is good! Trouble is, very few people know what it means. Many people think they know what it means on the surface but very few take the time to work through all the issues. For example, is it more green to live in an old, small house that was never designed to be "passive solar" or to knock it down, landfill the rubble and build a six star perfectly oriented passive solar McMansion with lots of insulation, energy efficient lighting, PV panels, solar HWS and you-beaut control systems?

Many intelligent people here and elsewhere who can see these dilemmas all around them get lost in the noise and figure out that all they can really tell is that the guy wearing the tea cosy and claiming to be green is full of it so therefore everyone claiming to be green is as well. Because pretty often the perception of being green outweighs the reality for the "true believers", (aka the Greens political party). One only has to spend a moment reading their policy documents to work out there's a whole lot more going on (in a watermelon kind of way) than just being "green".

So which is more green, putting PV panels on your roof or buying wind farm produced green power? Which one is more sustainable? That would depend on the cost of each one and if there is anything missing in the energy debate its the numbers. Exceptionally few people know the true cost of power or water and the relative costs of different "green" technologies and all their relevant factors and additional costs / benefits but these are absolutely crucial considerations if we are to have a robust debate. With only a limited budget available to subsidise being "green" surely we should pick the option where we get the most bang for our buck? But no, we end up putting PV panels on our roof instead and it's deja vu all over again. Bugger the facts or the numbers - rooftop PV panels sound like something we should be supporting, so we will! :(

Anyway, to answer your question, I implement green improvements in my IPs where I can see an immediate financial benefit to myself. That is to say, I don't touch them! If the tenants want to pay for it, then I'm all ears. I'm yet to work out a system where my paying for "green" improvements will yield me a financial benefit.... As to our own house, we have installed insulation when it was free and paid for our own CF lighting. Other things were already done. There'll be no symbolic (shambolic?) PV panels going on this roof! We do grow some vegies though because they taste better that way and the kids like it.

I don't view paying for being green as particularly sustainable so I don't do it. There are enough profitable energy efficiency opportunities out there in industry for the taking that picking on small stuff in houses that doesn't make money seems a bit misguided, to say the least. The potential out there dwarfs any impact we may have so if you wanted to really make a difference, surely you would focus on areas where the biggest gains are?

Having said all that, I have sacrificed my career and earning capacity to the green energy industry (I knew I should have picked petroleum! :p) so I figure that's enough of a sacrifice on my part to be getting on with...
 
Having said all that, I have sacrificed my career and earning capacity to the green energy industry (I knew I should have picked petroleum! :p) so I figure that's enough of a sacrifice on my part to be getting on with...


Haven't met a tea cosy yet who can define power density.....
 
HiE. I was thinking of trading my V6 for one of the new common rail diesels but did some maths in my head while driving in to get an appraisal: I could have bought 1,000 BHP shares (cheaper then than now) with the money I would need to spend and the divs would pay for all my fuel for a year. So I kept my nice big, 10 yr old car with leather upholstery and some real grunt. :D
 
Look, we all should try to live green, but I'm not getting all obsessed about it.

If we outlawed cars and planes and all the other things we have that kill the planet, then my .000000001% effort might make a difference.
 
I'm pretty green.

I've got a big green lawn. I like to keep it well watered and fertilized, specially in summer. Remember, a green lawn is a lush dark green lawn that the kids can fall over on and not skin their knees. I like green trees. I've got tree's planted around my house. Grandma planted them 50 years ago, so thanks gran, they are big and shady. She planted nice european and English trees. So they are shady in summer, but in winter they let the sun in, so that's gotta be green, and they don't drop bark and crap all over the place and kill my lawn, and remember I like lawn even better than trees. It's not like theres any shortage of native tree's is there? And we've all seen what happens if you have native tree's next to your house in a fire eh?

I've got 3 green tractors and a green header. A green planter and airseeder. With a big lawn, I've got a green lawn mower, Oh! two actually, a small one and a big one. Mum drives the small one, dad and me bought her a big zero turn one, but she won't drive the flippen thing as it has no steering wheel, just levers, so me and dad have to drive it.

I like big green paddocks. The greener the better. If they are a light green colour I've not put on enough fertilizer. Dark green is better and means I'll grow a bigger crop and make more money and be able to buy more green stuff. My number one daughter has a green dirt bike.

Being green is great.


See ya's.

That is an absolute hoot.

(I quoted it so that it got more airtime in this lame thread). :D
 
So which is more green, putting PV panels on your roof or buying wind farm produced green power? Which one is more sustainable?
Well, that's easy to answer.

I bought a (green - Solver Lichen Green and Mid Green) house in the town that is servicing a MASSIVE wind farm. I'm probably going to rent it out later this year, and the most likely tenant I'll get will be a wind farm worker. Wind farm workers get paid too much and hence pay high rents. Considering the pittance I paid for my little green house, I think this is incredibly sustainable to my hip pocket :D
 
...and being the lovely links I am, some good/interesting reading/ideas:

http://www.appropedia.org/Sustainable_housing_directory

Sustainable housing directory
From Appropedia

This directory contains information sources on various topics and businesses related to sustainable housing . Please add either external links, or links to relevant articles on Appropedia or related wikis

...and, little detour:

http://www.notsobighouse.com/

The Not So Big House books by Sarah Susanka bring to light a new way of thinking about what makes a place feel like home—characteristics that many people desire of their homes and their lives, but haven't known how to verbalize
 
I tried to make one of my IP's as green as possible.

Removed the Air Conditioners.
(why move to a warm place and then use an a/c, saves electricity)

Remove the ceiling fans.
(replace each room with a clothes horse for drying clothes, saves electricity)

Replaced all the glass windows with just security mesh to allow for ventilation and fresh air.
(don't want anyone cutting themselves on broken glass trying to break in)

Removed all doors including front door.
(Reduces noise for the neighbors from slamming doors and smoke when tenants use doors as firewood).

Removed the Bath
(who needs to wash or wash clothes, saves water)

Remove the toilet
(saves calling a plumber out to remove what ever is blocking it, saves water)

Remove carpet.
(concrete just needs sweeping, saves electricity.

No stove or fridge.
(Mcdonalds is across the road, saves electricity)

Remove curtains.
(allows sunlight to come in through security mesh and natural heater for those cold tropical mornings)

Remove lights and light fittings.
(day light is good enough for seeing around , saves electricity)
 
Being Green

I hate the term 'green'. Personally I prefer "sustainable' just to be pedantic. :D I make sure all our IPs have efficient lighting and heating/cooling (if required ie. Orange) and excellent insulation. Not only does the insulation reduce the need for mechanical heating and cooling, it also provides for a more comfortable internal environment for my tenants = keeping them in my IP for longer. We also install instant gas or solar hot water systems (when the old ones die) and install water and energy efficient applicances and fixtures. I guess we have an opportunity to do this since our method is Buy-Renovate-Hold. We dont do everything possible on our IPs because we just can't afford it. We stretch our $$ as far as we possibly can to hurry up and build our equity, and unfortuantely we've had to be realistic about our investment in improving equity/rental yeild against improving the efficiency of our IPs. Altruistically, in the near future I would like to revisit each of our properties and improve the efficiencies again where we can. I see keeping our tenants' base electricity costs down through efficient appliances and fixtures makes for a happier tenant. We have moved out of a rental property ourselves once because the electricity costs (for the huge hot water heater and ducted A/C) were astronomical!

For the record, Im an environmental scientist who specialises in sustainability in the built environment, so I guess I practice what I preach. ...and I understand not everyone else thinks and acts the same way I do. Its just my personal choice with my career and IPs. :)
 
The only "green" thing we have done so far was to take up the home waterwise initiative and the current free climate safe initiative. So far both cost me a total of $150 for three places and that includes our current PPOR. That is very minimal cost in saving energy and water, it still amazes me why there are lots of investors havent taken up the free cliemate safe intiative....

Free water rated shower head, free energy monitor, free 15? CFL bulbs (granted there is another post about allergy but there cant be that many people that is allegice to CFL). Oh did I mention free? I reckon this is the best "present" we have given to our tenants :D

Also got the free insulation for the PPOR as well.

I am also looking at PV for my parent's home, however I am still yet to setup a spreadsheet to work out ROI. Last time I did it works out silly....

Am kicking myself on not taking up the government green loan tho, since it would have greatly helped with my ROI calculation.. Oh well time to move on.... :)

DISCLAIMER: I do not work in the electric or water industry so I am not doing advertising! Just incase someone gets the wrong impression.
 
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