New joint program to help reduce apartment blocks’ energy use launched
High rise building managers, owners corporations and residents can reduce power bills in their blocks by up to 30 percent under a new program specially tailored for apartment living that was launched in Melbourne last night.
Smart Blocks is a new national program helping apartment owners and their managers improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and save money.
At the core of Smart Blocks is an interactive online toolkit that helps people find out what efficiency improvements can be made to common property in their building and explains the steps to get those improvements approved by owners corporations. It provides a step-by-step guide for owners corporations to reduce the money they spend running common facilities including lights, swimming pools, hot water systems and heating and cooling plants.
With high rise apartment buildings using around 25 percent more energy per person than freestanding homes, Smart Blocks shows how energy consumption levels in high density dwellings can be substantially reduced.
Smart Blocks has been developed through a partnership between Strata Community Australia, City of Sydney, City of Melbourne, Owners Corporation Network of Australia and Green Strata. The City of Melbourne launched the Smart Blocks program in Melbourne last night.
Smart Blocks builds on the success of the City of Sydney’s Smart Green Apartments program and the City of Melbourne’s Hi-RES project, which highlighted the huge energy and water savings available from increasing the efficiency of plant and equipment in common areas. Average energy savings potential of 30 percent or more have been shown through these programs.
The program is working collaboratively with nearly 20 community partners across Australia, including 15 cities and towns across five states to deliver free workshops to apartment owners and their managers. It received funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism as part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program.