Solar panels increase re-sale value

A study of house sales in the US shows a clear increase in value when a house has solar electricity panels.   The study is reported in Reneweconomy this week.   The article says: “Installing rooftop solar panels boosts a home’s resiliency and green credentials while cutting utility bills, but does it also increase a home’s resale value? The answer according to Exploring California PV Home Premiums, a new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) study,... Read More

Anyone can see how much electricity we use in Sydney’s Sustainable House

If anyone wishes to see how much electricity is used and how much is made from the sun each day at my house they can now do that any time, anywhere.   This website has a menu heading called, “My electricity“.  If you use it you can see the amount of electricity used and generated by the solar power system each day, month or year at Sydney’s Sustainable House.   By making energy data available to anyone I hope it may be used as a guide for those choosing... Read More

Steel Stewardship Forum sponsors an ecopops

The Steel Stewardship Forum has sponsored an ecopops.   The Forum represents all those involved in the steel industry in Australia, from mining through to fabrication of such things as rain tanks, steel rods and steel mesh.  The Forum’s website notes that the recovery rate for steels at the end of life in Australia exceeds 90 per cent.   The Forum sees the ecopops as a billboard for sustainability in our cities.   I’m delighted to have the Forum’s... Read More

Coal a dying business say Deutsche Bank and Standard & Poor’s

Two recent reports say coal, and the mining infrastructure for it, have only a few years to go before world-wide investment in them will not be available. Referring to the reports today the online magazine, Reneweconomy, reports that: “CLP Holdings, the Hong Kong based company that is one of the largest power companies in Asia, said it wouldn’t invest any more money in coal-fired generation in India following the disastrous results of its latest 1,200MW investment, which... Read More

Warren Truss buries his head

When the Acting Opposition Leader in Australia is illiterate, innumerate and more interested in digging up coal than speaking truth what does it look like?   It looks like this:  “Indeed I guess there’ll be more CO2 emissions from these fires than there will be from coal-fired power stations for decades.” – acting Opposition leader, Warren Truss, January 9, 2013 The on-line magazine, The Conversation, which publishes research by academics and scientists responded:   “Around... Read More

Making fridges use less energy

This just in from Rosie Knott of South Australia: Dear Michael, I read your book ‘Sustainable House’ 4 years ago, when I purchased my house. Your description of a ‘cool pantry’ interested me, as I had a cupboard in the middle of my house which I thought would be suitable to adapt, as the space under the timber floor is huge and maintains cellar temperature. However . . . I modified your idea and it works a treat. So this is something you might like to suggest for subsequent... Read More

Solar powered light for my tent

  Monique and her solar powered light and phone charger Today Monique Alfris, an Australian engineer working in India and Asia, gave me a solar powered light for my tent. Monique has set up a business and a program in India with her business partner, Kat and Jamie in India and Emma and Ben in Australia, to sell the lights to people who live in tents, shacks and are very poor. Since 2011 Monique has trialled various lights and ways to sell them and she’s written to me... Read More

A typical Lombok petrol station

Typical Lombok petrol station  Read More

Big little things on a tropical island

Some observations made during my six weeks in Lombok, Indonesia, a tropical island – my first stay there.  I arrived at the end of August 2012 and left in the middle of October: Lombok has about 4 m people on an area about the size of the Sydney wider metropolitan area “villa’ is perhaps the most abused word in Lombok and Bali, especially when used in ads, the Web and promotion – don’t be confident of something out of Italy – such villas exist... Read More

Making ice without electricity

An ice house in Iran - Image from Gardens of Persia, Penelope Hobhouse, photo by Jerry Harpur, published by Floriligium (yes, the same wonderful gardening bookshop in Glebe) Four hundred or so years ago Persian engineers made ice without electricity. Ice houses (yakhchal in Farsi, or icehouse) kept ice in the burning heat of the Iran plateau.  They’re rarely used today. They’re up to 20 metres high and 6 or so metres below ground.  A single door is insulated with thick,... Read More

  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
    For permission to re-print any articles or to book Michael for a speaking engagement go to Contacts. Please ensure all quotes from Michael's blog include a reference to