My Efficient Electric Home (MEEH) is a rapidly growing Australian online community where members volunteer their time to help each other improve their homes – often in relation to heating and cooling. Last week it passed the milestone of 35,000 members.
Group founder and co-admin Tim Forcey describes MEEH as “possibly Australia’s largest continuously updated database of home improvement information”.
“Clearly there’s huge interest across Australia in improving home comfort at all times of the year, getting away from fossil fuels, saving money, and more,” says Forcey.
“It has been fun to watch the group grow to 35,000, with hundreds of new members joining every week. And one interesting point, when the weather gets bad (cold or hot) and people are reminded how uncomfortable their homes are, that is when we see many new members flood in!”
Thermal comfort is one of the main concerns discussed in the group, with people sharing information about draught-proofing, insulation, and window coverings. Getting off gas is also becoming of greater interest.
“Certainly, more people are beginning to act because of the climate emergency,” says Forcey, “and gas is recognised as a fossil fuel. My number one message both at the group and in my home comfort and energy consulting business is to heat with your aircon – find your heat button! People are becoming more aware of heating living spaces and water with heat pumps, including reverse-cycle air conditioners.
“We are also learning more about the health impacts of burning wood and gas, such as asthma,” he says. “So air quality is a key topic too. And ventilation and COVID-19 has been discussed too, as you might expect.”
Although Forcey worked in the gas industry for many years before starting MEEH, he is now a vocal critic.
“We should all speak out more about the ‘fake news’ from the gas industry,” he says. “They say that gas is cleaner, cheaper, nicer. And none of that is true. And they say, ‘Just wait for hydrogen!’ But that is at best a delay tactic designed to keep us on fossil gas, and at worst a scam.
“Some people are in really, really uncomfortable homes, but they don’t realise it might not be that hard or costly to be more comfortable and to have even lower energy bills, and all without using fossil gas.
“When I started My Efficient Electric Home, I knew there was a small but growing demand for information on how to transition to all-electric homes. Seeing how popular this group has become, with not just those who are early adopters, but with average Australians (and beyond), it makes me hopeful that we will be able to make efficient, all-electric homes the standard in Australia.”
For more information about My Efficient Electric Home, click here.