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How to Reduce Summer Electricity Costs

With summer upon us, electricity usage is likely to skyrocket with increased use of air conditioning and other associated cooling cost which is often among one of the largest expenses for strata schemes during the warmer months. It is important for bodies corporate to continually monitor and review their electricity usage to reduce costs and to also be more energy efficient reducing their carbon footprint. The first step in reducing energy costs is getting to know the services in your building to determine where the energy is being used.

Common areas services such as lighting, elevators, central water heating, air conditioning, ventilation systems, gyms, pools and spas are the primary services that draw the highest electricity demand. To get a better understanding of how to efficiently utilise your common area services and conserving energy use, you should consider conducting a complete energy audit to identify areas of high energy demand and to then consider ways to be more energy efficient.  Energy efficiencies can be achieved in many areas of a strata scheme reducing both common area and individual use costs.

From a Strata Perspective, Committees can actively contribute to reducing energy costs by;

  • Consider engaging an energy consultant to review usage and provide energy efficiency recommendations including investment payback periods
  • Consider replacing lights and other technology with energy efficient options, although this will likely come at a cost, the scheme will benefit from ongoing savings.
  • Adjust timers for lighting, cooling and other services so that the service is only used as required.
  • Ensure maintenance of services such as pools is monitored and completed outside of peak usage times.
  • Review energy supply terms and rates to ensure that the correct tariff is applied and the lowest supply rate in the market is achieved.

For Individuals

  • Installation of blinds, thick curtains or double-glazed windows can limit heat infiltration and decrease the need for use of expensive air-conditioners.
  • Monitor your own usage, ensure that you turn off unnecessary electronic devices at the wall or consider using timers.
  • Invest in an individual energy monitor, which will allow you to monitor the use of individual devices.
  • Keep individual air-conditioners set to 24 degrees to ensure efficient operation and cooling. Costs can jump up to10% per degree above this setting.
  • Ensure individual services such as Air-conditioners are well maintained to increase energy efficiency.

For more information on what you can do to eliminate high energy costs, please contact your local Archers office.

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

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