Would you spend more money on your IPs (water-saving devices, etc)to save the planet?

Would you spend more money on your IPs (water-saving devices, etc)to save the planet?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 34.6%
  • No

    Votes: 34 65.4%

  • Total voters
    52
A new sustainable house is opening soon in Cairns where I live, & it got me thinking how many investors are interested in saving the planet by installing more energy efficient & water-saving devices in their IPs?

I guess the main question here is - If you were renovating or building an IP, would you spend more money to install extra insulation in the walls & ceiling, install a rainwater tank for irrigation, etc, install AAAAA rating taps, etc, more energy efficient appliances, design the home better (if building) to take advantage of cross flow ventilation, etc??? I mean the extra costs you spend I would think would increase the value of the home, etc... in the long run from a financial point of view, plus going a long way to having a more sustainable home to help save the planet, etc.

Or...as an investor you don't care & it's all just about the money as in "Why spend the extra $$$ on buying an inverter air-cond when the tenant's not going to pay more in rent to accommodate spending the extra $$$ ??"

Just some thoughts...let me have yours.
 
Save or sustain??

If you are building from new then the most effective ways of conserving energy (and thus reducing the cost of heating/cooling etc) do not cost more than building a house that has not had that consideration. The first obvious one is the orientation of your home on its site and the intended use of the internal space. Building a 3 x 2 which has the bedrooms on the east and the garage on the west will cost the same as a 3 x 2 with the bedrooms on the west and the garage on the east, given the same materials and size. So this is one instance in which tenant comfort in your home wouldn't add to the price to build it. You may actually save money by eliminating the need for external blinds/shutters/verandahs or blockout curtains if your home was positioned in a way that tenants weren't comfortable in certain rooms at particular times of the day.

Coupled with this is the use of insulation, most forms of which adds a nominal price to a home and ensures that the cost of heating and cooling is reduced significantly. You would have to consider that this reduced cost of heating and cooling in the home would be welcomed by tenants and considered as a plus. Imagine the combination of both orientation and insulation..

The materials selected for a home that is energy efficient and no different to other homes but sometimes are mixed in some climates to better protect the internal temp but that is mostly in the extreme high and low climates and the climate with the larger diurnal range.

As for fittings I have seen water efficient tapware for the same price of non water efficient tapware so apart from the odd washing machine and dryer I don't think too many appliances are outpriced compared to water wally ones. Different brands market their product and there will always be the cheap brands and there will always be the expensive brand but most will have products to satisfy all customers.

The big cost can sometimes be in 'sustainable' building materials. Sustainable homes are heavily reliant on recycled (or potentially recyclable) materials. The cost of reprocessing used materials usually results in higher prices unfortunately. Timber is one example and can be reused in kitchens, flooring and structural elements. Iron is another.

Sustainable materials and sometimes design can differ from energy efficient design and can involve using as small an imprint on the earth as possible (stumps etc) which sometimes contradicts energy efficient principles as well as many local council coventants on what materials can be used in subdivisions. Another example of this is the modern corrugated iron clad homes in the brochures...we haven't built in a subdivision yet that hasn't stipulated BV or masonry as the cladding to use even though iron is one of the sustainable building materials because of its ability to be recycled.

I suppose the bottom line is where your heart is. I have four kids and want them to see that we did what we could, as an example to them that we cared about what we would leave them with, and as an example for them to always try to live in a way that will reduce or elimate the impact on future generations. We won't be able to take our IP's with us when we are gone, but our investment in our children and their environment will be a ongoing and self perpetuating.
 
Or...as an investor you don't care & it's all just about the money as in "Why spend the extra $$$ on buying an inverter air-cond when the tenant's not going to pay more in rent to accommodate spending the extra $$$ ??"

Just some thoughts...let me have yours.

if the tenant won't pay for the pollution they are creating by their lifestyle, why should a landlord shoulder the bill? people need to take responsibility for their own actions. if they won't do it voluntarily then force the issue, levy taxes on water and electric consumption that tenants pay and use the funds to rebate the installation of enviro friendly appliances and construction methods in new houses.
 
My first thought was that if Governments provided the proper infrastructure to capture the water in the first place, then water saving devices are redundant.

I get sick of householders shouldering responsibility because Governments refuse to build wetlands, reservoirs in the proper areas, grey water facilities, recycling facilities etc etc. If Governments spent the money on these unexciting things, instead of Grand Prix races and the like, then we could all enjoy a nice long shower without having to feel guilty.

And if the State Government's cant even get together to proper manage the dying Murray River water then what chance do we have? How do we expect other COUNTRIES to make world changes for the betterment of mankind if our damn state Governments wont even do it!

Water saving shower heads wont ever save the Planet, but Government action can.
 
Water is not a non-renewable resource. There is a finite amount of water on the planet, and it simply changes form and location from time to time. Our governments need to be thinking a lot smarter about water harvesting and storage. I refuse to participate in water saving programs (other than mandated water restrictions), because I believe them to be ineffective, and that they simply mask the real issues.

I've been told that during the 1980's in Canberra, it was illegal to have rainwater tanks attached to your house, so that you were forced to buy water off the local goverment!
 
would you spend more money to install extra insulation in the walls & ceiling, install a rainwater tank for irrigation, etc, install AAAAA rating taps, etc, more energy efficient appliances, design the home better (if building) to take advantage of cross flow ventilation, etc??? I mean the extra costs you spend I would think would increase the value of the home, etc... in the long run from a financial point of view, plus going a long way to having a more sustainable home to help save the planet, etc.

I doubt it would add much value, if any.

I'm not against any of the measures you mentioned, but for IP's it would come down to the cost. If it all added up to an extra $10k, then no - I probably wouldn't unless it becomes law.

As far as the ethical/environmental view - these things won't make a huge amount of difference unless EVERY house does it (which would require laws to be passed), and there are much bigger fish to fry in the big scheme of things.

I'll add in one more line which always gets people yelling at me - I as one person, cannot make a difference to the environment, so spending the extra cash to make a house environmentally friendly, from an investment stand point would not make any sense.
 
I think buying higher quality appliances and other materials that have a longer life and require less repairs and maintenence can be a big improvement for the environment and your hip pocket even if energy usage was the same as a cheaper option.

Much more energy is used in creating the thing in the first place, and to get a tradey to your IP to fix it, etc.
 
if i was building - yes. connection to gas, rainwater tank, insulation, water saving plumbing, orientation, fluro lights etc as these are easy to install and don't cost much more (and sometimes less).

if i bought an existing house? no. it costs a small fortune to reconfigure an existing property to "green" ideals and tenants don't care anyhow.

the main abusers of water and carbon outputs are business - personal households contribute less than 1% of the problem in australia so making an effort at great expense is a waste of money, imo.
 
I do install the water saving devices, shower heads in existing houses. If I'm building a new house/unit then water tanks are mandatory and rainwater diverters. So i spose I am saving the planet in my own way.

Cya
Aaron
 
the main abusers of water and carbon outputs are business - personal households contribute less than 1% of the problem in australia so making an effort at great expense is a waste of money, imo.

Completely agree. I believe the local councils should have compiled a shire council top 20 list of water users and check what are the measures these businesses have implemented for water management. There should be some transparency from both parties so the public can see what is being done about the current water problems.

Aaron
 
Completely agree. I believe the local councils should have compiled a shire council top 20 list of water users and check what are the measures these businesses have implemented for water management. There should be some transparency from both parties so the public can see what is being done about the current water problems.

Aaron

Now that is a really good idea. How do we communicate it to the world?
 
Hi all,


NO.

Why should millions upon millions of dollars be wasted on such things as small water tanks, piping, filters, pumps and such.

If the various governments spent (had spent) the equivalent amount of money on water infrastructure there would not be a problem anyway.

bye
 
If you were in a spot like Byron Bay, then advertising a rental property with some energy saving featuresa might make it more popular with renters. I have an IP that I changed to energy saving bulbs and shower heads and the tenants were over the moon to think that they were doing their bit and had such a conscientious landlord.

A little can go a long way in the right direction.
 
I guess the main question here is - If you were renovating or building an IP, would you spend more money to install extra insulation in the walls & ceiling, install a rainwater tank for irrigation, etc, install AAAAA rating taps, etc, more energy efficient appliances, design the home better (if building) to take advantage of cross flow ventilation, etc??? I mean the extra costs you spend I would think would increase the value of the home, etc... in the long run from a financial point of view, plus going a long way to having a more sustainable home to help save the planet, etc.

Or...as an investor you don't care & it's all just about the money as in "Why spend the extra $$$ on buying an inverter air-cond when the tenant's not going to pay more in rent to accommodate spending the extra $$$ ??"

I can see how that would help in saving the planet etc, but how will it increase the value of the home? For example, a house that has a granite kitchen would probably sell for more than the same house with an old kitchen, and the difference would likely be greater than the cost of installing that kitchen. Would buyers do the same for a house that has the features you mentioned above?

I don't think so. As a result, as an investor, I would rather spend my money on things people will pay higher rent / higher price for. New paint, air-con, etc. There are a LOT of items on the list before we get to rainwater tanks.
Alex
 
I can see the merits of a large rainwater tank in the country.

But as for capital cities, would the extra power you use powering the pump needed get water pressure from your rainwater tank counteract the environmental benifits of using a few less litres of water? unless the pump is running off solar power or something I would have thought the extra greenhouse gasses used to power the pump would be worse than saving a few litres of water.
 
To make an already built house as green as possible costs a small fortune and is not really practical. However, its squeezing the last 20-30% of "greeness" into your house that is the expensive part. There are some realatively cheap and easy things you can do straight away or as part of general reapairs

1) Energy efficient blulbs. I think a box of 12 from bunnings costs about 20 bucks. Very cheap and work well. Nelson is the brand. Install them and write in the lease that the tenant is resonsible for changing the bulbs and must use quivalent energy savers.

2) Water efficient showerheads cost $25 and can be installed by anyone. Airaters on tap ends also.

3) Holland blinds cost similar amounts to venitians. They block out the sun (summer) and keep in the heat (winter) much better. Consider when changing the window coverings.

4) Choosing a slighly less powerful AC unit and adding some roof insulation costs very little extra and will make the house feel more comfortable in winter and summer than the AC alone.

5) You dont need water tanks if you chose the right plants, use water retaining beeds, and mulch the flower beds. It also makes the garden lower maintainence and modern looking.
 
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We are re-building a queenslander home at the moment. We are spending extra dollars and time to make it more energy efficient. We have used solid core fill 200mm concrete block walls on the lower section for sound and temperature insulation qualities (and it is harder for termites to eat). We are installing insulation in the upper timber section, inverter aircons, fans, fluroescent lighting (as opposed to hundreds of halogen downlights). We have designed the living areas to catch the prevailing breezes and spent a small fortune on larger and louver windows for better ventilation.

We have also chosen to paint the house a light colour to reduce heat absorbtion and most importantly, used a white roof. I am always surprised that people choose or for that matter are allowed to use black for roofs in hot climates where so much energy is used in cooling the home. If you don't think it makes a difference, try walking barefoot on a bitumen road in the hot sun. This one makes a big difference for no cost.

I agree rainwater tanks are an expensive waste of time in the cities and towns. They are now required here, though we have no shortage of water. I have planted abundant tropical gardens that love heaps of water and I water them whenever I feel like it, though that is not often given that it has been raining regularly for months. We pay our tenants water bills as we don't want them to let the yard deteriorate for fear the water bill.

I doubt any tenant will give a hoot though I hope they appreciate these measures. We feel we have done our best and we are happy about it. I can't act against my beliefs about what is right just for a bigger profit. It isn't a very business-like attitude, but its' mine and I'm sticking to it.:)

Louise.
 
I voted no.

The tenants are paying the water bill. If they want to save money and the planet, they can pay for the new shower head.

Can I have your receipt if you are throwing it out?? ;)

We already do our fair share of planet saving at home.

Just had a thought; VYBerlinaV8 said water is a non-renewable resource.

Assuming that the world's atmosphere is sealed and nothing can escape into space (ie - water, air), and millions of years ago the oceans were 100's of feet higher apparently; then where has all the water gone?

It's still gotta be here somewhere?
 
.

Assuming that the world's atmosphere is sealed and nothing can escape into space (ie - water, air), and millions of years ago the oceans were 100's of feet higher apparently; then where has all the water gone?

It's still gotta be here somewhere?

Frozen, in the polar ice caps. That is why the theory says that global warming (melting polar ice) will result in rising sea levels.

Louise
 
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