Eoin Cameron's Green Reno

Home demolition, don't you just love it? I don't think I'll be giving up the day job though. I'm here today helping Harry and Pat O'Neill demolish a home that's well and truly lived past its use-by date. They're going to replace it with a house that's as green and as sustainable as they can possibly make it. As Harry and Pat get cracking on their demolition, I meet two Perth families who are already reaping the benefits of their green renos.

I'm at the home of Rachel Roberts. Rachel bought a couple of duplexes, lived in one side while she renovated the other side and in doing that renovation, she's cut her energy bills by more than half. Let's see how she did it. Rachel says "North-facing windows make an enormous difference to a building, you get all the light, the warmth in winter. it just makes the house feel really good. The sun comes through the windows, hits that concrete floor, and warms it up. We shut the curtains at night and then the cement releases the heat." Rachel's light and airy home needs no air-conditioning or heating and feels like a completely different house. Rachel also has a rainwater tank, a grey water system to water the garden and, most importantly, a solar hot water system.

"Have you done any estimate on how much you've saved, in terms of your bills each month? I would think we've saved 50 per cent on our electricity, our gas and water bill." In fact she makes the War Office and I feel like real energy criminals - the four of them use a quarter of the electricity we do at home! Rachel was it more expensive than a standard reno? "No it wasn't. It was the same as any renovation. $100,000 for this particular renovation. We did a lot for that."

John and Maureen James knocked down their home of 25 years to build a new 'green house' and slashed their energy bills by half. "It was uncomfortable in a word, cold in winter and hot in summer." "This home doesn't need any heating or cooling right throughout the year." Griff Morris, from Perth Company Solar Dwellings, designed John and Maureen's energy efficient home. "The east and west are very important to protect because you have the sun low in the sky. We're using the actual laundry to pick up the cool air coming from that wonderful air conditioning system called the Fremantle Doctor, which is really free, taking that right through the centre of the home."

It's Sustainable House Day in Australia on September 9. Rachel's house is one of three in WA that will be open that day for people to find out more. For more information and locations, go to http://www.solarhouseday.com.au/.