AN ultra-efficient display home at The Cape in Cape Paterson has set a new benchmark in affordable living, costing only $500 a year to run or 15 per cent of the power and water bills needed to run an average Victorian home.
The double-story, four-bedroom house – the first of 220 homes at The Cape, Australia’s most energy efficient housing development – has undergone cost-of-living analysis by the Alternative Technology Association.
The results show a genuinely bill-busting home, with good design, efficient appliances and solar energy making the house 85 per cent cheaper to run than the average Victorian home.
These day-to-day savings will wipe off four years from the average 25-year home loan.
The Cape Paterson display home, built for $390,000, creates more energy than it uses.
It is rated 8.2 stars for its energy efficiency, fitted with industry-leading seven-star heating and cooling systems, employs passive solar design, LED lighting and solar energy.
The home is designed to operate without the use of increasingly expensive gas, and will maintain a comfortable temperature range in all weather conditions with minimal heating and cooling required.
The home won the Master Builders Best Sustainable Home, South East Victoria, 2015.
The $100 million Cape development has been recognised in the design category of the Premier’s Sustainability Awards in 2012.
“The Cape home provides a glimpse into the future of sustainable housing in Australia, and shows how innovative design, hard work and common sense by builders and developers can help residents avoid expensive bills, maximize comfort, and dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the housing sector,” Damien Moyse, the Alternative Technology Association’s Policy and Research Manager, said.
“We compared the annual running costs and comfort levels of The Cape sustainable home against typical existing and new Victorian homes.
“Across all categories the Cape home outperforms current practice in the building industry by a wide margin.
“With the Cape home, householders can pocket up to $2,250 in tax free savings per annum compared with a typical Victorian gas/electric home of the same size.
“When all 220 homes are built to this standard at The Cape, the community has the potential to pocket $500,000 tax free per annum in avoided energy bills.
“If electric vehicles are taken up across the community into future, these annual savings could easily rise to $1 million per annum.
“If householders reinvest those savings into mortgages, these homes save over $200,000 over a 25-year mortgage, and will reduce the mortgage by several years.”

Friendly challenge to others

The people behind The Cape are local Bass Coast builders, Small Giants – the company responsible for the successful Commons building in Brunswick, one of the most sustainable residential developments in Australia – and project director Brendan Condon, whose vision has been to prove that sustainable housing can be affordable.
Mr Condon believes people should have the option of living in comfortable family homes that are environmentally-friendly and cheap to live in, instead of the energy-guzzling homes currently on offer in new housing developments.
“This home is climate safe – protecting our community from rising energy bills and rising temperatures,” Mr Condon said.
“Residents can purchase a two to three bedroom home fully fitted out with all the sustainable bells and whistles and energy systems for under $300,000.
“We are also pleased that the home saves around 14 tonnes of CO2 per annum compared to conventional homes.”
Local builders TS Constructions have worked with energy efficiency experts and architects to design and construct the display first home at The Cape residential community.
“The methods we have used here to achieve these results are able to be followed by the large volume builders across Australia, and we hope our project kick-starts a period of innovation in Australia’s housing industry,” Mr Condon continued.
“We have developed a design hub of sustainable builders, designers and trades now forming around this project in Bass Coast and all future buyers here will have access to this expertise in developing super-efficient, high quality, affordable homes.
“Our project is one of the only places nationally where you can access housing built to these standards.
“Today we throw out a friendly challenge to the large developers around Australia to get on board – if we can do this in Bass Coast it can be done anywhere. It is undoubtedly the way of the future.”
For more information on The Cape, see advert this issue, or to see the display home for yourself, visit The Cape sales office at 140 Seaward Drive, Cape Paterson. The sales office is open every day during the holidays from 12pm to 4pm, or call 0413 265 362 to organise an appointment.