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9 Ways to Reduce Summer Electricity Costs

During summer, shared electricity usage can skyrocket and is often among one of the largest expenses for strata managed buildings. Every year it is important for bodies corporate to review their building’s electricity usage in order to be more energy efficient and save costs. The first step in minimising energy usage is getting to know your building’s energy bills to determine where the energy is being used. Common areas often use the most electricity to run such as: lighting, elevators, central water heating, air conditioning, fire stairs, gyms, pools and gardens. Consider talking to an expert consultant about conducting a complete energy audit to identify ways to be more energy efficient this summer, even in schemes that are bulk billed, you can still get an assessment to investigate how to become more energy efficient. Below are 9 ways to reduce electricity costs and tackle the summer bill shock:

• Talk to your electricity provider – unless you are in a scheme with bulk electricity you can usually negotiate a discount. Some companies will give you up to a 10% discount for on time payments. If yours won’t, it’s time to shop around
• Become familiar with your on-peak and off-peak electricity times. Sometimes changing usage habits to on-peak and off-peak times can reduce costs (peak times is about 4pm – 8pm). If you can run a dishwasher overnight and other appliances after 8 pm (running air conditioning, washing machine, dryer) then your costs will be lower
• Consider double glazing windows or tinting windows to keep the home cooler and thereby using the air conditioner less (make sure you obtain body corporate approval first)
• Invest in new energy saving technologies by installing LED light bulbs, timers, push button lights, sensor lights and replacing outdated appliances to more energy efficient alternatives
• Be more conscientious – turn things off at the wall, wash in cold water, when running the air conditioner have it on 24 degrees, close curtains and consider adjusting the air conditioning timer so it turns off after an hour or two rather than running all night
• Maintenance is a must – if a fridge is running poorly or the seals are not working well you are probably wasting energy and money. Have your air conditioner maintained regularly to ensure efficiency
• Check hot water pipes for leaks: assets that use water should be regularly monitored. Energy is wasted when water is pumped through the system only to be leaked out again
• Review the body corporate tariff allocation: as detailed on each electricity bill to ensure it is the most appropriate tariff
• Car parks: instead of running ventilation equipment 24/7, consider installing carbon monoxide monitoring devices. These devices will only switch the fans on when required

This article was contributed by Grant Mifsud – Partner, Archers the Strata Professionals.


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