Making your home more sustainable is a win-win because you can lessen your impact on the environment and help shrink your utility bills. And the best part is, you don’t need a big budget to get started. We’ve stepped out some quick and easy changes, alongside some more impactful upgrades you can make to your home below.

1. Go for energy-saving light bulbs

They may already be a bit of an oldie, but LEDs are nonetheless a goodie. The advantages of swapping out your current light sources for LED equivalents are twofold. For one, they can reduce your energy usage by up to 75 per cent1 compared to conventional halogen light bulbs. On top of that, they last five to ten times longer than non-LEDs, meaning they need replacing far less frequently.

2. Draught-proof your home

Ill-fitting or outdated windows and doors can also be costly as they prevent your home from retaining your set temperatures. As a result, your heating and cooling systems have to work overtime to stay on track, increasing your energy bills. Depending on your living situation, you can replace your windows with double-glazing, non-conductive window frames, and proper sealing to resolve the issue. Blinds and shutters can also help reduce draughts and will assist with the thermal comfort of your home.

Those on smaller budgets may be able to seal the gaps DIY-style by using window film or weather stripping (e.g. silicon strips to seal window and door frames). Decorative door plushies also do their part to help you save on heating and cooling costs.

3. Install a smart meter

Whether it’s about keeping out the cold in winter or maintaining your cool in summer, heating and air conditioning tend to drive up our energy consumption (and electricity bills) in a flash. Installing a smart meter and connecting it to a smart device such as your mobile phone can report your usage in real time and help you keep an eye on your usage. Monitoring your daily habits can also help you uncover any other hidden energy drains in your household. With a smart meter you may also opt into energy plans which have different electricity prices (peak and off-peak) for different periods of the day. You can then shift the usage of high-energy appliances to times of the day when the cost of energy is lower, saving you money on your energy bills.

4. Update your hot water system

Older homes are often fitted with outdated gas hot water systems that can end up using a substantial amount of the energy in your home. Being proactive and researching the latest hot water systems may help you make a more informed decision when it’s time to replace your old system. For instance, replacing your old, gas hot water system with a solar hot water system may help you save money on utility bills and reduce carbon emissions, as you will no longer be reliant on natural gas. Instead, your hot water system will run on clean, renewable energy.

5. Buying energy efficient appliances

The components used in older appliances tend to be far less energy efficient than their newer counterparts. One factor to consider when choosing new appliances, is its energy rating. Essentially, the more stars an electrical good has been awarded, the more efficiently it runs. The ones considered the most energy efficient tend to come with a higher price tag but they’re also likely to have the biggest impact on your power bills in the long run. You can use an Energy Rating Calculator to easily compare the energy ratings of different appliances you are considering purchasing.

6. Upgrade to solar and battery storage

Utilising energy generated from your own rooftop solar may be one of the most significant steps you can take towards energy efficiency and saving money on energy bills. Combining your solar energy system with a home battery, means your home could utilise your stored solar generated energy during times of the day when the sun isn’t sufficient, potentially saving you even further on your home energy bills. Not only is producing solar power emissions-free, meaning your household electricity won’t put any further strain on the planet, but you can also get paid for feeding any daily surplus energy back into the grid. For more information on how to start your solar and battery journey, read this helpful article.

7. Invest in insulation

Effective insulation will reduce heat transfer and can help you reduce your heating and cooling costs. If you’re building a new home or considering a larger-scale renovation, it might be worth looking into upgrading your insulation. Glass wool is common but there are many types from which to choose. There are also many sustainable options, such as sheep’s wool, or cellulose, which is mostly made from recycled paper. When looking into insulation for your home, be sure to engage an accredited installer, who will only use insulation materials which meet Australian standards.

However big your budget, making your home more efficient doesn’t have to break the bank.

The CommBank Green Loan is a low, secured fixed rate loan that can be used to purchase and install eligible clean energy products to make your home more sustainable. To learn more, visit:


Terms and conditions

  • This information has been provided without considering your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions, you should consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and consider obtaining professional advice. 

    The Commonwealth Bank is not authorised and does not make any assertions about reduced consumption from non-renewable energy sources through clean energy purchases installations. Advice and further information should be sought from relevant certified industry professionals.

    CommBank Green Loan:

    Applications are subject to credit approval, satisfactory security and minimum requirements. Full terms and conditions will be set out in our loan offer, if an offer is made. Fees and charges are payable.