New guide helps tune up your apartment block

New guide helps tune up your apartment block

Sydney’s growing population of high rise residents can slash power bills in their blocks by up to 30 per cent under a new program specially tailored for apartment living.

Smart Blocks is a new national program helping apartment owners and their managers improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and save money. It provides a step-by-step guide for owners corporations to reduce the money they spend running common facilities including lights, swimming pools, hot water systems and heating and cooling plants.

With high rise apartment buildings using around 25 per cent more energy per person than free standing homes, Smart Blocks shows how energy consumption levels in high density dwellings can be substantially reduced.

Sydney has more apartment residents than any other area of Australia and the City of Sydney is collaborating on Smart Blocks to help residents cut their power bills and reduce pollution to help meet its goal of cutting Sydney’s carbon emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.

“With more and more residents living in apartments, we need to explain how using energy more efficiently can make it easier on their wallets and on the environment,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“Smart Blocks does just that, explaining the large savings that can be made from replacing  old assets with more efficient products and how equipment can be used in different ways to slash energy consumption levels.”

At the core of Smart Blocks is an interactive online toolkit that helps people find out what efficiency improvements can be made to common property in their building and that explains the steps to get those improvements approved by the owners corporation.

Smart Blocks is being developed through a partnership between the City of Sydney, Strata Community Australia, the City of Melbourne, Owners Corporation Network of Australia and Green Strata.

It builds on the success of the City of Sydney’s Smart Green Apartments program which has highlighted the huge energy and water savings available to apartment owners from increasing the efficiency of plant and equipment in common areas.

Energy savings of up to 30 per cent have already been identified in buildings in the Smart

Green Apartments program and similar results are possible from Smart Blocks.

The Smart Blocks program received funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism as part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program.

Across Australia more and more people are living in apartments and in the five years from 2006 to 2011, apartments accounted for 35-40 per cent of all new homes.

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For media enquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Media Specialist Matthew Moore phone 0431 050 963 or email