Making your complex sustainable

As well as saving energy, improving the sustainability of your strata complex can significantly reduce its running costs. It can also future proof your building against rising costs.Shared services usually make up the biggest proportion of a strata-titled building’s energy consumption, particularly in mid and high-rise apartments. Lighting, lifts, air conditioning, pools, gyms and central hot water systems use the greatest amount of power and upgrades will deliver the greatest cost and carbon savings.Owners corporations can often significantly improve the efficiency of the energy used by these systems. Many pay for themselves in less than a year and all result in lower strata costs for many years to come.Working out where the big costs are is the first step. While some managers automatically assume solar power or motion sensors are the first steps to a more environmentally friendly strata building, you should first consider your lighting as it is an easy and affordable upgrade with immediate payoffs. Commissioning a consultant to undertake a full audit can also pay for itself.The Energy Efficiency Council maintains a list of EEC members who have experience with, and expressed an interest in working with owners corporations in delivering energy efficiency projects. It's available here.Government AssistanceCheck to see what support your local council provides. Some councils offer information kits and free evaluation programs and even grants to assist owners corporations with upgrading the energy efficiency of their complexes.Five principles

  • Know what your utilities cost – how much is being spent where
  • Do an energy audit to find savings
  • Invest in energy-efficient plant & equipment upgrades
  • Increase your use of renewable energy
  • Remember active maintenance saves money
Ref: Strata Community Aust

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