How to switch your building’s common areas to a GreenPower electricity plan
Advice for working with strata committees.
Up to 60% of a large apartment building’s total energy consumption comes from the common areas like lifts, pools, ventilation, and car park lighting.
Yep, that much. This can be surprising as these areas are often overlooked and it’s likely we spend more time making green choices for our own apartment.
While installing rooftop solar is a great option for reducing carbon emissions and lowering electricity costs, it’s simply not feasible for many buildings in our local area.
The good news is, it’s easy to switch to an accredited 100% GreenPower electricity plan for the common areas of apartment buildings.
Here are a few tips along with an example of how and why Maestro Apartments in Forest Lodge switched to a GreenPower electricity plan.
Key points when advocating for GreenPower in your building:
Future tenants and buyers are likely to ask about your building’s environmental footprint. Switching to GreenPower means you can say you’re 100% renewable for your common areas.
Common areas can make up the bulk of your building’s energy usage. Switching to GreenPower is 1 action that can dramatically slash your emissions. And it doesn’t involve waiting on tradies!
GreenPower doesn’t necessarily cost more and lots of people report the cost difference is negligible. Shopping around can save you money. You can buy GreenPower from more than 20 energy providers in Sydney.
Have people learn more about GreenPower.
What to do if you're renting
If you have contact with your owner, reach out to them. If not, ask your real estate agency to forward the message. Alternatively, you can go directly to the building manager or strata manager and ask them to consider a GreenPower electricity plan and raise it at the next strata committee meeting. The above key points will help you draft your communication. Unfortunately, it’s still hard for renters to have any say in what goes on for the common areas of an apartment building. But speaking up can make a difference.
What to do if you own your apartment
Your building manager or strata manager is responsible for the electricity in common areas. As an owner, you can let them know you’d like to switch to GreenPower and they’ll take care of the rest. The first step is to speak to them and ask if GreenPower for common areas has already been considered. If not, ask to put it on the agenda at the next strata committee meeting.
Electricity is part of ongoing admin, so your strata committee can switch to a 100% GreenPower electricity plan without waiting for the annual general meeting.
Use the key points above to make your case for GreenPower and make sure you’re well versed on the benefits of switching beforehand. You can also suggest committee members check out our GreenPower guide.
If your strata committee is on board with getting GreenPower, your strata manager will be responsible for switching your plan. Make sure they shop around and get a few quotes for you.
What to do if you’re on an embedded network
If your building is on an embedded network, it means you’re locked into a longer-term electricity contract. Ask your strata manager when your existing contract is up and let them know you’d like to switch to GreenPower when it’s renewed. You could take note of the date and set a reminder to bring it up a couple of months before it expires.
How and why Maestro Apartments switched to a GreenPower electricity plan
Maestro is a 345-lot apartment building in Forest Lodge. It’s one of 7 strata schemes in the newly developed Harold Park precinct.
The strata committee members have been on a mission to make their building the pinnacle of sustainability. Incredibly, they’ve reduced their annual electricity consumption by 46% – saving around $50,000 on their energy bill. They now have a 6-star NABERS rating. Switching to a 100% GreenPower electricity plan helped them get it.
“Our strata manager suggested switching to a GreenPower electricity plan at a committee meeting. We were interested straight away because it seemed responsible and relatively low-cost. We knew it would appeal to future potential buyers of Maestro apartments as it’s likely they’ll be concerned with the building’s environmental footprint,” said Dominic, an owner on the strata committee.
“It was so easy to get a GreenPower electricity plan for our communal areas with the help of our strata manager. It was essentially just adding a small amount to our electricity bill. And the additional cost for GreenPower has been easily cancelled out by the savings we’ve made through reduced consumption.”
There are a couple of common ways to buy GreenPower for apartment blocks:
Buy in bulk through a broker, separate to the common property electricity account
Buy as part of an electricity contract
Maestro tried both methods and found buying GreenPower in bulk through an energy broker works best for the building at present.
A recap on GreenPower
GreenPower is an accredited and audited government scheme that enables Australian households and businesses to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources. When you opt for a GreenPower electricity plan from your electricity provider, your money goes to getting more renewably sourced energy made in Australia.
Your choices matter. Help shape a cleaner future and switch your common areas to a GreenPower electricity plan today.
Where to get more help
If you have any queries or feedback, email us at email@example.com. We’d like to help you.
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