May 31, 2006
Smart house to handle your electricity consumption smartly... (but need investment also...)
Couple show how to stay cool
By LEE YUK PENG (The Star 30 May 2006)
MALACCA: Energy-saving houses are the way to go to minimise utility costs and a couple living here under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme are showing just how to do it.
Harry Boswell, 71, and Stephanie Bacon, 64, from Cambridgeshire, England, have a 260 square metre, single-storey house with four air-conditioners running 24 hours a day at 24°C and it costs them only RM2 a day to run the units.
The house, which they designed themselves, is located at the Tiara Melaka Golf Resort and is well insulated to keep out external heat.
It is painted white and faces north to prevent sunlight from striking the windows.
It also has a white steel roof to deflect sunlight, two underground chambers to collect cool air, thick walls made of aerated concrete and two layers of glass for all windows and doors.
All these keep the house cool.
The refrigerator is placed underneath a chimney, which channels hot air surrounding it out of the house.
“All these reduce the work of air-conditioners and we feel cool inside the house,” said Boswell, adding that electricity rates here were lower than in England.
“Low charges encourage extravagant, instead of economic, use,” said Boswell, who will be paying RM7 more for his current bill of RM136 per month.
“The increase (here from Thursday) of 12% is lower than the 24% increase in England over the last two years.”
He said it was time the Government implemented laws encouraging the building of energy-saving homes and give incentives to those willing to modify their homes to conserve energy.
Boswell spent RM380,000 to build the house but the pay-off is in the lower electricity bills.
“Resources are being depleted and we are saving energy for future generations,” he said.
The couple’s first attempt to build a house here turned out badly, with their contractors running away.
They returned to England in 2004, sold their house there for RM3.5mil three months later and came back to Malaysia.
They completed their house, called Cooltek, last August.