Free thermal home assessments

Maldon couple Linda Pannan and Graham Thomas are already reaping significant savings from making their new home highly energy efficient.
Now they’re about to share their knowledge through a new community project aimed at helping the town’s residents become “climate ready”.
The two are among a small band of local volunteers who will next month train up to provide free thermal-comfort home assessments for other locals so they, too, can learn how to boost their home’s thermal-comfort factor, improving its energy efficiency.
It’s all part of the town’s new Climate Ready Maldon project being led by the local neighbourhood centre.
“I think it’s a pretty good project,” Maldon Neighbourhood Centre coordinator Amy Atkinson says.
“It’s unique in that it is focusing primarily on thermal comfort.
“The volunteers will work with Maldon residents to assess their homes and identify appropriate changes to homes and behaviour.”
A scientist by profession, Linda Pannan, and Graham Thomas, a builder who constructed their own new energy-efficient abode, say there are myriad ways to make homes more energy efficient, boosting the thermal-comfort factor, while benefiting the environment and bank balance.
“Insulation is a crucial thing really,” Graham says.
With its energy rating exceeding 6.4 stars, underfloor insulation, double glazing, seven-star rated split system, and 10 solar panels delivering a 3.6 kw power system, the couple’s own new abode provides plenty of examples of means to improve thermal comfort and energy efficiency.
“We’re both fairly keen on helping the planet survive,” Linda says, naming effective sealing around doors and windows as one simple action that can make a big improvement.
Residents who want to receive one of the project’s free home assessments need simply register with the neighbourhood house to participate, and will also receive a $50 voucher toward implementing some of the improvements identified through the process.
The project is supported by Maldon Hospital and Maldon Fire Brigade, and will also provide online community workshops focusing on bushfire preparation and heat health.
Ms Atkinson says the free home assessments will be able to proceed regardless of the level of COVID restriction in place as they may be done via phone or online if necessary.
She’s also encouraging anyone interested in becoming a volunteer assessor with the project to contact the neighbourhood centre – “one or two more would be great,” she says.

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