Sydney blocks save $1m in smart green apartment scheme

The City of Sydney’s popular smart green apartments program – which last year helped 20 unit blocks save an average of $57,000 off their annual power bills – is now open for new applications.

The program helps 20 high-rise apartment buildings to reduce costs by becoming more energy and water efficient and reducing emissions.

Under the program last year, the participating blocks saved a total of more than $1.1 million through energy and water efficiency upgrades that also cut emissions by 7317 tonnes.  That’s the equivalent of the electricity used by 1,097 households in a year.

Launched in 2016, the program works with owners and managers to help them slash energy bills and save thousands on running and maintenance costs. The City has committed to working with 20 high-rise apartment buildings every year for the next decade.

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the program was a critical part of the City’s work to reduce emissions across Sydney.

“Buildings in our area contribute around 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Helping owners and managers improve their environmental efficiency and reduce their emissions is a priority,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By increasing energy efficiency and reducing water use, we are also helping buildings reduce their electricity bills.

“I’m proud of the results we achieved last year and look forward to even more apartment owners and managers signing up for the next round!”

The program is open to strata or company title residential buildings with more than six storeys or 80 apartments and located in the City of Sydney area.

Last year leading property services group PICA ran six of its multi-storey apartment buildings through the program and saw great results.

Mark Glass, head of product strategy and innovation, said the program “introduced sustainability into the mindset and budgets of our buildings”.

“This was an excellent opportunity to introduce energy and water efficiencies with the prospect of year on year cost savings for our buildings, as well as improving the ‘liveability’ of the residential communities,” Mr Glass said.

The smart green apartments program offers access to expert advice to implement upgrades and opportunities for retrofits and upgrades in the strata sector. As well as access to training, successful applicants may join the Sydney Water Waterfix program.

For the first time the program will also include a fully funded NABERS rating, which measures a building’s energy efficiency, carbon emissions and water consumption.

Applications for the third round of smart green apartments close on Friday, September 14. To apply, visit cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/smart-green-apartments

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