Sustainability is the word on everybody’s lips at the moment. With the cost of living increasing everywhere, strata scheme owners and managers are incentivised to bring costs down wherever possible. Sustainability infrastructure is a great way to help the planet, but also help to maintain strong strata financial performance.
Save money on lighting
Maintaining well-lit common areas is essential for a safe, comfortable strata living scenario. Corridors, foyers, car parks, lifts, swimming pools, gyms and all other communal facilities need to be well-lit. With that, though, comes a significant energy cost. You can reduce these expenses considerably by being smarter with your lighting.
Firstly, installing lights with motion sensors is a great way to start. This allows lights to turn on when needed and remain off when a space isn’t being used. You can also consider installing energy-efficient lighting such as LED bulbs to further reduce your costs.
Invest in renewable energy sources
One of the big-ticket items for strata schemes in recent years has been solar energy. Whether you have individual lots or high-rise buildings, solar energy can drastically reduce electricity costs. The great thing is, solar energy provides options: it can be used just for communal areas, installed separately for each property, or it can power your whole strata building.
The cost of installing solar panels can be seen as prohibitive, however, the long-term benefits are clear. Especially with rising gas and electricity prices in Australia, you can increase the appeal of your strata building considerably by investing in solar for the future.
Reduce water expenses
Depending on when your strata building was constructed, you may or may not have individual water meters for apartments/lots. Regardless, you can’t really control how much water people use inside their homes. But you can control how water is managed in communal areas.
You can save money through a range of initiatives. Such as:
- Rainwater tanks for communal gardens
- Timed watering systems
- Using native plants that need less water in landscaping
- Regularly plumbing checks to ensure there are no leaks
- Energy-efficient tap and shower installation
In an ideal world, you would be using between 200 and 300 litres per day per bedroom. If you can reduce that down to under 200 litres, you’ll see definite savings on your scheme’s water bill.
How to proceed with sustainability measures
Thanks to the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Act 2020, strata schemes now only need a majority vote of 50% or more to pass a new sustainability measure. This may include the installation of solar panels, solar hot water systems, rainwater tanks for gardens or any other piece of infrastructure to support more sustainable living.
Such improvements typically come from the Capital Works Fund. Strata scheme managers can have these works approved with a majority vote at a general meeting, making it easier than ever to make sustainable changes.
For more information on how to make sustainability upgrades to your strata property, contact the team at More Than Strata today. We can provide guidance and other management services to ensure your scheme saves money through sustainability.