22 Jan 2019


Words by Kerri Major, Engagement Manager, Partnerships & Innovation 

Picture this - it’s 2057, at 8:30 pm on a Saturday night, you are sitting in your living room when your home plunges into darkness for the 50th anniversary of Earth Hour.

It did that for you, because your home knew that you wanted to take part anyway, but you kinda forgot. Also, other homes in the same street decided to do the same because they were talking to each other through a technological advancement called the Internet of Things.

This could be the future of energy automation and home energy management systems, where our homes will be so advanced that they can make decisions for us. Energy automation to optimise energy efficiency, especially at the residential level, is becoming more common.

I’ll confess, I don’t want this scenario to happen, but not because I’m afraid of anything like Skynet or HAL 9000. Technology will march on, and it’s up to us to find a way to harness the winds of technological change and use it for the greater good of our planet.

Instead, I hope and dream for a future where the world has done the right thing and prevented catastrophic climate change, and there’ll be no need for Earth Hour forty, fifty years down the road.

But today in 2019, Earth Hour’s still here, and this year will be a potentially make-or-break election on climate change, and we’ll need to have a plan for how we’re going to make an orderly switch to clean, renewable energy.

Check that - there have actually been more than ten plans to repower Australia with 100% clean, sustainable and renewable energy, not only at the commercial level but at the residential level, according to Nicky Ison of the Community Power Agency.

Yes, these plans also address issues around upgrading our current infrastructure to accommodate renewable energy. There are answers to the scare tactics used by the fossil fuel coalition. We have all the pieces and all the threads - we just need to stick to a plan and get it done.

And as I read about how more and more Australian households are installing solar at an astounding rate of ‘six panels a minute’ - regardless of how federal policy on climate and energy is still in limbo - I know there’s still hope. It reaffirms to me that the responsibility of combating climate change lies in the smallest step, and the smallest actions, and together they’ll create an unstoppable groundswell. Just look at how in 2007, when Earth Hour started, there were only 1,000-odd households in Australia with solar. Today, the number is two million.

This is the real #10YearChallenge. Can we make environmental degradation from climate change a thing of the past?

Join us for the fourth session of the Greenhouse Sessions - Future of Homes: Will our Homes Control our Lives? The session will explore everything from the latest emerging trends and tech to the very concept of home, and how our homes (physical or cultural) are being affected by climate change and other environmental issues. And in a surprise twist to our storytelling format, will feature a song, written specially for tonight's event, exploring our subject and sung live by two of Sydney's finest musicians.