Affordability Experiment Update

8 April 2021

It’s been just over 4 months since the Purcell family moved into their new home at Iluma Private Estate and Mirvac’s industry-leading Affordability Experiment began.

The first of its kind by a major developer in Western Australia, the study saw Lisa & Jackson Purcell and their two young children move into an affordable, sustainable 165sqm TERRACE home with a 9.1-star energy rating in Bennett Springs in October 2020.

Developed to address the challenges of affordable housing, both in terms of the initial purchase price and on-going living costs – the findings from the Experiment will play a key role in the future delivery of net-zero housing design concepts.

In partnership with Synergy, Keystart and TERRACE Homes we’ve been monitoring the Purcell’s utility consumption, spending and saving patterns as well as lifestyle impacts to help us gain an understanding of the energy and cost savings that can be achieved by living in an efficient home.

Since the Experiment commenced, the household’s monthly utility usage has been returning a net positive result with the home generating almost double the amount of energy it is consuming each day.

Bi-monthly energy bills that were once costing the family upwards of $800 are now coming in at an average of $40 allowing Lisa & Jackson Purcell the opportunity to put these savings towards their home deposit and their life at Iluma Private Estate.

“We didn’t expect our energy usage or bills would reduce so drastically so quickly but being able to take the money we would normally spend on these kinds of expenses and put it towards our deposit for the house has been fantastic for us,” said Lisa Purcell.

With 8 months to go until the year-long Experiment comes to a close, the Purcells continue to monitor their usage and make adjustments to ensure their home and lifestyle habits are as sustainable and efficient as possible.

“We’ve been so impressed with how seamlessly we’ve been able to stay on top of our consumption and save energy. We check in with the Simble app a few times a week which allows us to make small changes to our daily habits and remain accountable for our usage.”

“When it comes to reducing our usage, we’re noticing that it really is the little things that all work together to save energy. Whether that’s doing larger loads of laundry less often, reducing our shower time or using energy-saving mode on our devices – it all adds up and it does make a difference,” she said.

Key learnings from the Affordability Experiment across the areas of energy, water, landscaping, technology and finances will be monitored as the Experiment progresses by Mirvac’s Internal sustainability and innovation teams and project supporter Simble. We will continue to report on the results regularly with the findings forming part of the development plans of future large-scale, energy and cost-efficient precincts.