For modern homes, crushing electricity bills is more of a rule than an exception. And this assumes peak proportions in severe summers and winters when cooling and heating systems have to be run almost round the clock. This has often led to households compromising on comfort to keep energy bills down. However, all that is undergoing a sea change. New and innovative styles and methodologies are being incorporated in business plans so that more energy efficient homes are built across Australia.

What are the measures that have to be slotted in before a building can really be termed as an energy efficient one? The answer depends on individual builders and what they choose to do. The degree of efficiency sought to be achieved is a factor that has to be taken into account here. But before choosing the best eco house provider in Melbourne, it will be relevant to know from where it all started. That will by default lead to the top eco builders in Melbourne.

The pioneer in the field of eco houses has been Mick FabarIn 2006 he floated Green Homes Australia, a sister concern of his existing Mick Fabar Constructions set up previously in 2001. Green Homes focussed solely on eco friendly houses that helped reduce electricity consumption and bills. Mick got instant success as the concept caught on very well. He even built two eco-friendly concept houses in his hometown Orange, NSW and invited builders from all over the country to share his expertise and knowledge in this field. More than 20 builders participated in this franchise model and helped spread the good deed throughout Australia.

There are certain parameters to keep in mind while choosing the top provider of eco-friendly houses in Melbourne.

The first is the features being offered by the builder. Top of the list is use of solar energy along with conventional electricity fittings. Heavy duty cooling and heating systems can be operated on this power, instantly paving the way for reduced energy bills. Others that play a great part include passive heating and cooling systems, rain water harvesting and a high degree of recycling options. Apart from these, dual pane low-emittance windows and star rating electricity appliances also reduce energy consumption significantly. Choose builders in Melbourne that definitely have most of these features in their building plans.

One of the foolproof methods to select a top of the line provider of eco homes is to find out the awards, laurels and certifications bestowed on the builder for contribution in this field. The most prestigious is of course ISO certification. Look out for ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems, ISO 14001 for Occupational Health and Safety Systems and ISO 50001 for Energy Management Systems. Only the best builders will have one or more of them. Incidentally, Mick has them all.

Finally, look for awards that the builder has won for constructing energy efficient green homes in Australia. These will primarily be excellence awards conferred by the Housing Industry and include Green Smart Builder of the Year and National Home of the Year as well as Energy Efficiency Awards.

Keep these pointers in mind when you look for the best eco-house provider in Melbourne.