Common ways to save in apartments

March 2013

Electricity used in common areas of apartment buildings is essential but some energy efficiency improvements can save thousands of dollars from annual strata budgets.

Ausgrid energy efficiency expert Paul Myors said up to 70% of electricity used in high rise apartment buildings can come from common area equipment such as air conditioning, lifts, lighting and pools.

Electricity costs in common areas can vary from as little as $100 per year for small apartment blocks and villas, to more than $1500 per year for each unit in a large high rise complex.

Simple steps to reduce lighting costs include using energy efficient bulbs wherever possible, but more importantly to use timers and motion sensors so they’re not on all day.

Pool and storm water pumps can be big energy users so it’s important to ensure they’re not running longer than necessary. Larger buildings typically have time-based pricing so running pool pumps outside peak times will also cut your costs.

Carbon monoxide sensors and variable speed drive fans can cut the energy used by car park ventilation fans by 50-80%.

Air conditioning systems can account for up to 60% of energy bills for common areas. Investing in modern controls to optimise cooling pump operation and temperature settings can cut thousands from your strata bills.

Due to the complex systems often found in larger apartment blocks, an audit report by an energy consultant can be money well spent. 

And to save electricity inside your apartment, check out ways to save.

 

Common townhouse complex walk-way

Savings can be made in common walk-ways by using energy efficienct lighting on timers or sensors.

Download a higher resolution version of the common walk-way image