This website evolved out of lengthy discussions on the best way to monitor and report on the carbon footprint of aviation.  It contains information and ideas generated/gathered by Dave Southgate.

Dave retired from the Australian Government Public Service in July 2012 after a 31 year career as an ‘environmental bureaucrat’.  He spent more than 20 years as an environmental specialist in the Australian Government Transport Department.  He primarily worked on aircraft noise and aviation climate change issues.  

From 2004 to 2012 Dave was the Australian Government representative on the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP).  He pursued his interest in carbon footprinting while on CAEP and was a member of the group that oversaw the development of the ICAO Carbon Calculator.

Since his retirement he has become very focused on the pressing need for the world to eliminate CO2 emissions.  He is a strong believer in encouraging individual households to take climate change action.  

His main retirement project is aimed at placing his family on a path where it no longer directly buys fossil fuels (gas, petrol and grid electricity).  This aim has now progressed to managing his family’s total (direct + indirect) CO2 emissions in a way that produces a net zero emissions outcome.

This site is not intended to be a dynamic forum.  Rather it is designed to be a place to store the reports Dave is writing as he documents his family’s net zero emissions journey.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi, I’m looking forward to reading your household energy transition.

    Last week, I had extra PV installed, replaced boilers with instant heaters en keep searching for energy savings to power a recently bought 2nd hand EV.

    I no longer use gas and. Currently my heatpump uses 1700kWh / winter. Not to bad but I wish I knew about IR panels earlier. Only found out recently.

    Here’s my question: can you perhaps create an epub file?
    Best wishes,
    Nico Lilien
    the Netherlands

    • Hi Nico

      Thanks for getting in touch. Sounds like you’re doing some good work with your energy systems.

      I did generate epub files for my earlier books (say two/three years ago) but stopped because they were expensive to produce and the layout tended to be quite poor compared to the pdfs. Anyway things may have changed so I’ll look into it again. I’ll let you know (and send you a copy) if I do manage to get an epub file.

      Best regards


  2. thanks Dave, enjoyed the household transition book, you obviously know your onions by going with annual cost comparisons, comparing cents per kwh and percentages out of any rational context just drive me crazy. I threw the conventional thinking book out the window on an off grid job a few years ago and mounted panels facing north east, north and northwest and cut the size of the battery bank to 30% thereby matching generation to use. I still have people look at the system and say I am wasting potential power in summer. The fact that there is no genset and battery charger attached and the standard of living in the house is well above the average due to the tricky diversion techniques seems to irk fellow off-gridders no end. The clients seem to enjoy some of the slack jawed reactions. Washing machine, water heater ,aircon, cordless tool chargers, water pump accumulators, air compressors swimming pool pump they all wait their turn to take a bite at the solar power and hibernate at night. There are also some big energy savings if you know where to look
    After looking at your EV data we have pulled out the spreadsheets again to see how it would stack up, it seems like something changes every 3 months
    regards Steve

  3. Well done – sounds like another great example of what can be achieved. I’m very keen to see people try out different approaches to reducing their household energy use/carbon footprint.
    For me the electric car is where it’s all going to come together: in particular when the car battery is big enough to become the house battery; it looks like all the next generation EVs will have batteries around 60kWh – this is the game changer.
    At the moment I’m having fun hooking up a Level 1 EVSE to the multifunction relay in my Immersun: subject to a lot more testing, it looks like this will give me more or less automatic solar charging of my EV.

  4. Dave,

    You recently wrote, “Probably the greatest inconvenience with personal
    heating is working out how to keep unexpected guests warm.” I
    wouldn’t mind reading in one of your subsequent efforts how you cater
    for guests within your “personal heating” concept.

    Thanks very much for your site. I haven’t read so many articles from
    end to end for ages.


  5. Hi Dave,

    I have started looking at your work, particularly in EVs. I am currently working on an article about EVs and would really appreciate your input.

    Would you be able to provide an email to get in contact with you?


  6. Hi Dave,
    I was present for your presentation at Melba Shed today for which I thank you.
    I would be appreciative if you are able to provide some general advice to me about energy cost savings in respect of the Retirement Village where I live.
    Our Operator has recently installed several solar PV systems to several high rise unit buildings in order to help offset site electricity costs which currently run about $55.5k per annum. The initial savings are envisaged to be around 34% to 50% but these systems have only just been commissioned by the ACT Government so any savings are yet to be realised.
    The operator is also in the process of undertaking power load testing of each of its village sites in relation to any future requests from residents for additional basement power points for EV’s (at resident expense!). I understand that this is also a potential problem with strata title appartments!
    The site is also hampered by the original design arrangement in 2014 to provide hot water to 133 units by way of gas hot water systems fitted to each of 5 building blocks. The current annual cost for this service is around $53k.
    As the cost of gas in particular is only going to continue to rise I am wondering if you could give me any suggestions about what replacement alternatives for the provision of hot water that the Operator could consider when capital replacements of these systems are due?
    Could you please reply privately to my email address?

    Many thanks

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