Smart Solutions for Apartments

WHAT IS IT

An initiative that works in partnership with owners’ corporations, facility managers and landlords to identify and implement potential opportunities to: improve energy efficiency, access renewable energy and reduce water and waste.

The program will have two parts, consisting of:

1. An intensive initiative to be piloted with 10 showcase buildings that can then be used as inspiration for others to follow. They will be selected to represent a range of building types, for example, mid-rise and high-rise, new and old. We will also include a community housing site.

2. A broader behaviour change initiative to provide support, networking and advice across the municipality and, where possible, in partnership with our neighbouring councils.

WHY HAVE IT

Over half our residents live in high rise apartment buildings, that is, apartment buildings of three or more storeys. Many of our residents have told us that living in an apartment building is a significant barrier to implementing sustainability actions.


TOP TIPS FROM THE EXPERT

We are working with Gareth, an Energy Auditor from Energy Smart Strata, to assist our 10 showcase buildings to improve energy efficiency, access renewable energy and reduce water and waste.

We asked him to share his top tips for apartment dwellers to live energy smart and save

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PROGRAM CASE STUDY - THE ESPLANADE, ST KILDA

WHAT HAPPENED - An energy audit of the site common areas as part of City of Port Phillip Council’s Smart Solutions for Apartments program.

WHAT WAS FOUND - The energy audit identified an issue where the condenser water loop/pump was running during winter in 2016 and 2017.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED - Since completing the energy audit Energy Smart Strata requested more recent interval data to check whether this issue again occurred in 2018.

Interval data shows:

• The condenser water pump is no longer running during cooler months.

• The pump did not run at all from 11th May to 11th August 2018. The pump only ran occasionally usage in August and September.

• This is a dramatic reduction compared to previous years:

  1. Electricity usage in winter 2018 is 34% lower compared to winter 2017, and 51% lower compared to winter 2016.

  2. Year to date (Jan to Oct) electricity usage in 2018 is 28% lower compared to 2017, and 40% lower compared to 2016.

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CHARITY STARTS AT HOME


The Program waste audits have shown clothing in recycling bins is a major contaminant.

Two of our Program apartment buildings have taken action and are now benefiting from having direct access to a charity bin within their buildings. A resident of a building in Port Melbourne has this to say about the charity bins;

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The charity bins have been a real success. We have 8 bins in our building and every week they’re full, these are perfectly good items that may otherwise have ended up in landfill. Knowing the story of what happens with it and where it goes makes it all the sweeter.

Clothes and household items that may otherwise end up in landfill are instead collected on a weekly basis by Storehouse Thrift. 

They then resell the unwanted items within their five stores. 100 per cent of the money raised going to Teen Challenge, which rehabilitates young men suffering from drug addiction.

If you live in an apartment building and are sick of seeing perfectly good items going to landfill contact Storehouse Thrift.   


COMPARE ENERGY - SAVE MONEY AND GET PAID

It is important to make sure you get the best rates for your energy. As part of The Program we directed a number of tenants to compare electricity and natural gas rates on the Victorian government energy comparison website.

The Victorian Government is offering a $50 Power Saving Bonus payment to households who use the comparison website. This is available from 1 July to 31 December 2018.

We are pleased to announce that all of the tenants who compared energy rates reduced their bills and indeed received $50 for their troubles. Why wouldn’t you?