Live sustainably at home

Whether you live in an apartment, house, unit, tiny house or town house, we've pulled together some practical information to help you live more sustainably when you're at home.

Reducing emissions

Electricity use accounts for most of our emissions generated so it makes sense to find clean energy options.

Renewable energy


The Victorian Government currently provides incentives to residents who want to get rooftop solar, solar hot water or batteries: Find out more on the Solar Victoria website.

What about heritage?

A Heritage Overlay does not necessarily prevent you from installing rooftop solar panels.

A planning permit is required if the panels will be visible from the street (other than a lane) or a park.  However, Council will waive the permit fees and will process the application through the VicSmart service which minimises the paperwork requirements and processing time.

A Planning Officer will assess your application and together with advice from Council’s Heritage Advisor, may suggest changes to the sizing or placement of the proposed system.

We recommend you discuss your proposed installation with Council’s Planning Department to confirm planning permit requirements on 03 9209 6424 or 

Read our guide to help you with your planning application for solar.

More information is also available on our Heritage Advice page.

Check whether your property is affected by a Heritage Overlay

Energy use

Check out Sustainability Victoria’s guide to saving energy in the home, covering everything from energy rating labels to reducing lighting costs, computer running costs, washing machine costs and more.

Heating and cooling

Some handy hints to keep you warm during the cooler weather:

Other resources:

Extreme weather

Prepare for a changing climate including extreme heat and preparing for floods. You can also find advice on severe weather preparation

Other resources:

Renovating and home improvements

Check out Sustainability Victoria’s guide to building or renovating for energy efficiency.

Use thermal mapping data

Whether you live in a house, unit or apartment, explore sustainable home improvement solutions at your place of residence on My Climate. We partnered with CSIRO to develop My Climate, an interactive tool using thermal mapping data.

You can use My Climate to identify:

  • how hot your house is getting in summer
  • where heat may be escaping
  • if there is potential to instal solar panels on your roof
  • how much rainwater could be captured in a rainwater tank.

Win over your owners corporation

  • If you own your apartment and want to install solar, or reduce the energy use in common areas, navigating your Owners Corporation and legalities can often be challenging and confusing.
  • We’ve worked with a lawyer to put together a toolkit which will guide you through the process of getting your Owners Corporation's approval step by step. It also includes templates for you to use.
  • Take a look at the guide and toolkit.

Reducing water use

Simple actions you can take for more efficient water use:

  • Pay attention to your water bill can help you identify peaks in water use, that could be the result of a fault or leak.
  • Use the half flush toilet button when you can. This will save around three litres every flush.
  • Reduce tap and shower flow rates. If your taps or showers have a higher flow than required, investigate more water efficient fittings, for example four star Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) rated shower heads and tapware).
  • If you have room at your property, consider installing a rainwater tank. These can be used for toilet flushing and irrigation.

Reducing your waste

Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started:

Green cleaning

Green cleaning involves using environmentally friendly cleaning products and methods and avoiding products which contain toxic chemicals. This is not only good for the environment, but also better for the health and wellbeing of you and everyone else in your household.

Other ways to take action

Find out the powerful ways you can live a more sustainable life.

Want more help?

We are here to offer advice and help to anyone who wants to live a more sustainable life.

Get in touch by emailing or call 9209 6777.