How you can help to protect your children's future?

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Expert Advice About Energy Choice

I started my training as a plumber in 1985. I also have roofing, drainage, gas fitting, electrical and solar qualifications. Since the early 1990's, my customers have sought my expert advice to help them make decisions about the type of energy they will use.

Should they use gas, electricity or solar?

Should they use a combination of energy sources for their hot water, heating and cooking?

They have also sought my advice for reducing their water consumption and harvesting their grey water and their rainwater. Sometimes, I have had to tell them things that they were not expecting to hear.

Since 1985 there has been a major shift in Australian's attitudes towards conserving energy and water and reducing waste. Australians, and especially Canberran's, now spend more time considering the impacts on the environment when they make choices regarding products they purchase.

These greener choices help the manufacturers fund research into more innovative green technology. This technology is being dispatched to the rest of the world -developing nations included. Thus helping the developing nations skip a lot of the polluting technologies we, in the developed nations, relied upon in the past. This is a good enough reason alone to keep buying new, green technology and does add to what you have done for your children's future.

The purchase of green technology also brings financial benefits for Canberrans.

Better insulation on pipes, solar hot water heaters, solar PV, high efficiency natural gas appliances, water efficient tap ware and rainwater tanks all help to reduce costs around the home.

They have made it easier to sell homes due to the mandatory energy rating system that must be published when the home is being marketed for sale. This is a good reason to keep buying new, green technology.

There is one word of warning - As a trained professional, I have noticed that good intentions may not result in good outcomes. Unfortunately, I see too many solar hot water systems installed in a manner that makes them very inefficient.

I see undersized rain water tanks and rain harvesting systems that have not been designed so that they achieve anywhere near their maximum potential. I also see too many hot water systems that are wasting water.

This is not the fault of the customer; the fault lies squarely with the installer or salesperson.

Remain optimistic. If you want to look after your children's future keep buying green products, especially innovative green products and seek out professionals that see beyond the next sale.