Freshwater Place Apartments in Southbank has used Smart Blocks to reduce energy consumption.

22 May 2014 — The City of Melbourne has announced it will reimburse half the cost of solar panels and LED lighting upgrades in common areas of apartment buildings, up to the value of $3000.

The rebates are part of the Smart Blocks program, a national initiative designed to help apartment owners work with owners corporations and building managers to reduce and energy costs and carbon emissions.

Eighty per cent of the City’s dwellings are apartments, and with the population predicted to double by 2031, tacking apartment energy efficiency is critical to meeting carbon neutral goals.

City of Melbourne Environment Portfolio chair and councillor Arron Wood said energy efficient buildings also helped to reduce owners’ corporation fees and attract better tenants.

“All energy savings translate to cost savings for apartment owners and as power bills rise, energy-efficient buildings will also be better investments,” Mr Wood said.

The City cited studies showing that both mid and high rise apartment buildings consumed 25 per cent more energy than detached dwellings, with almost half of energy consumption happening in common areas.

However, there was the potential for apartment blocks to reduce energy consumption by up to 30 per cent through measures with 3-5 year paybacks.

Apartment owner Tim Esmonde helped his owners committee retrofit a seven-storey Parkville building with LED lighting and sensors in 2012.

The retrofit cost $6500 but saves $2000 a year in electricity bills, and will pay itself off in just over three years. It has also reduced the building’s carbon emissions by 50 per cent.

Esmonde says the owners plan to use the Smart Blocks rebate to add solar panels to the building.

One reply on “City of Melbourne announces solar, lighting rebates for apartments”

  1. If its a worthwhile investment for owners to upgrade their electrical lighting system; why does the Council feel they have to be subsidised. Is it another case of middle class welfare?

    It looks like another “third world” piece of corruption.

    People are not stupid, they know when the apples are in season and cheap and that is the time to buy them.
    If the Council has money to throw around like confetti, it should contribute to the upgrade of the coal powered power stations, there is a better return for the economy and the enviroment.
    The nineteen century technology can be replaced cheaply with more efficient systems if done by a Chinese company, rather than the local unskilled sharks.

    A Governments duty is to provide information to the community, not take from taxpayers and gift it to those who have more already.

    A modern coal driven power station over the coal fields to the west of Melbourne would reduce energy waste by 75% from the first day. If corruption in enegy supply was not a problem in Australia it could even be a modern gas fired power station.

    We have a corruption problem not am energy problem. Everything we have in abundance we have to pay higher prices than the rest of the World.

Comments are closed.