11 elements to include in your green home building plans


Are you seeking a flexible, cost-effective home loan for an energy efficient home that minimises carbon emissions? Our Green Home Loans reward customers who want to buy, build or renovate an environmentally friendly home, offering features such as 100% offset, redraw facility, unlimited repayments and a 0.10% bonus on term deposit rates.

How do I qualify for a Green Home Loan?



We offer the Owner Occupier and Investor Green Plus Home Loan for energy efficient homes with a certified 7 Star rating from NatHERS or a 7 Star rating Residential Efficiency Scorecard, or a recognition as a Green Star Designed or Certified home by the Green Building Council of Australia.

The Green Home Loan is for homes that have a Residential Efficiency Scorecard rating between a minimum of 4 stars up to a maximum of 6.9 stars. Additionally, it encompasses homes that have not been certified but contain a wide range of environmental and energy efficient elements.

In this article, we’ll outline a few elements to incorporate into your green home design, purchase, or renovation.


#1 & 2: Solar panels & a solar battery storage system



Over three million Australians are now benefiting from solar power, with over 3.2 million Australian households (32.3%) owning a solar energy system, a significant increase from 1.32 million (14%) in June 2018. Installations have more than doubled over the last five years!

Solar power is a sustainable, renewable, and plentiful energy source that not only helps lower your electricity bills but also significantly reduces your carbon footprint in a one-time investment. Take advantage of the Australian Government’s solar panel rebate, potentially saving you around $3,400 on the installation cost. You may also want to consider adding a solar battery storage system to capture and store unused solar power for use at peak times or during an outage.


#3. Solar hot water system



Hot water heating is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from the average Australian home. On the other hand, solar hot water systems can save up to three-quarters of your hot water energy usage, presenting substantial savings for your pocket and the planet. Therefore, if you’re already considering investing in solar panels for your green home design, you may want to explore the benefits of investing in a solar hot water system as well.


#4. 5+ star rated gas or electric heating


Source: Greenhive


When it comes to heating, we recommend opting for gas or electric heating units with an Energy Rating of five or more — the units should have a label like the ones pictured above. The higher the star rating, the more efficient the heater is. Refer to the accompanying YouTube video for a quick explanation.

#5. Air conditioning with at least 4+ stars or 6/10 stars


Like heaters, air conditioning units must meet a certain standard to be counted under our Green Home Loan. Your air conditioning unit should have at least four out of six Energy Rating or at least six out of 10 stars. See the outline below.


Source: Energy Rating

#6. A solar pool heating system



Even the heater in your swimming pool can be solar powered, offering a cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternative. Pool water is pumped through a filter and then through the system’s solar collector, where it undergoes heating before being returned to the pool. In hot climates, the solar collector can also cool the pool water during the peak summer months by circulating water at night.

Solar pool heating stands as a cost-competitive option compared to gas and heat pump pool heaters, with low annual operating costs. This makes solar a popular choice for homeowners with their pocket and planet in mind.


#7. A rain/storm water tank



Rainwater is a valuable natural resource. If harvested, it can be used to supply water to your toilets, showers, baths, sinks and washing machine, and can even be used for watering the garden. Depending on the size of the tank and the climate in your area, the reliance on mains water can be reduced by up to 100%, leading to huge savings on your water bill.

Additional benefits include:

  • Decrease stormwater runoff, helping to reduce flooding
  • Alternative water source during water restrictions and droughts
  • Maintain a green, healthy garden without accessing the mains

Rebates are also available from Australian, state, territory, and local governments. Search for “water” on the Australian Government Energy website to determine if you’re eligible for a discount.


#8. Certified double-glazed windows



Glazing, encompassing the glass and frames in windows, external doors, and skylights, has a significant impact on indoor thermal performance. In fact, a home can lose up to 40% of its heating, while up to 87% can be gained through windows from season to season.

Improving the thermal performance of your glazing can simultaneously increase the comfort of your home, reduce energy consumption, and lower costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Double or even triple-glazed windows are excellent for preventing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer — refer to the image below for a visual representation.


Source: YourHome


#9. External awnings



Did you know that awnings can make your home more sustainable? Effective outdoor shades can dramatically reduce the temperature in your home, preventing the summer heat from shining through — meaning there’s less reliance on fans and air conditioning. Well-designed awnings can reduce the consumption and cost of energy by up to 25%.


#10. Home insulation that meets government standards



The insulation in your home is key to regulating indoor temperatures. The material prevents heat from escaping in winter and outdoor heat from penetrating in summer. A well-insulated home will be comfortable year-round, reduce cooling and heating bills, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The best insulation material for your home will depend on the local area and its climate. For example, the right insulation will vary between suspended floors, timber floors and concrete slabs, or weatherboard walls, brick veneer walls, and solid walls. A certified professional can assess and install the most suitable insulation for your specific needs.


#11. Energy-efficient LED lights in over 75% of the property



Over the years, Australia has phased out many incandescent light bulbs and mains voltage halogen bulbs. Now, light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs and compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs are preferred for their prolonged lifespan and energy efficiency.

To be eligible for our Green Home Loan, you will need to have LED lights in more than 75% of your home. These bulbs consume around 80% less electricity to produce the same amount of light as a traditional halogen bulb, effectively lowering your power bill and saving on energy usage.


Reach out to Gateway Bank about our Green Home Loans


By incorporating these elements into your green home building plans, you not only contribute to a sustainable environment but also position yourself for eligibility for our Green Home Loan. Make your home more energy efficient while enjoying the financial benefits that come with it. To learn more about our Green Home Loans, contact us or apply online today!