Getting Started

Getting started

If you live in an apartment and are struggling to find ways to reduce your electricity usage, help is at hand! We understand that it can be really confusing knowing where to start so here are our tips on how to get started:

  1. Understand the difference between common and lot property. This is critical to understanding what changes you can make and what changes need approval. (See below)
  2. Get started today by looking at our list of no-cost actions (See below).
  3. Understand your energy bills. Understand what you are currently paying for, see if you can get a better deal and consider purchasing GreenPower to offset your emissions.
  4. Hot Water is the biggest energy user in your home (40%)!
  5. Heating and Cooling: This can account for 16% of your energy bill.
  6. Watch wasteful windows! Windows can result in significant heat loss and gain and can add to your heating and cooling bill.
  7. Appliances and refrigeration can also add up.
  8. Lighting can account for up to 10%!
  9. Consider solar! There are some extra steps you need to take, but it’s not impossible.
  10. Call Our Energy Future! If you still have questions, call the Energy Helpline on 1300 339 915 for independent advice, quotes for solar or LEDs and support on anything else energy related.

Strata, Common Property and the Owners Corporation

If you live in an apartment, you are part of a Strata Scheme and you either own or rent a ‘lot’ within that apartment block. A lot refers to the cubic airspace, the boundary walls, floor and ceiling of your individual apartment.

Generally if you own the apartment lot, you can make changes to any of the fixtures or fittings within the airspace, however, if you are a renter you need to get your landlord’s permission.

Everything that is not part of your lot is common property and is owned collectively through the Owners Corporation. The owners corporation is the collective group of all owners in the strata scheme.

Common property generally includes:

  • the boundary walls of a lot
  • any windows and doors within boundary walls
  • the roof and any roof space
Difference between common and lot property Source: Bannermans Lawyers

For further explanation of the graphic please see this link.

Due to some areas being owned by the Owners Corporation any changes to common property require approval at a general meeting of the owners corporation. Check out this website for how decisions are made.

If you would like to upgrade any of the common areas, please refer to Green Strata for information about what you can do and speak to your owners corporation before making any changes. If you are unsure, please call the Our Energy Future team on 1300 339 915.

 

No cost energy savings

There are lots of simple actions you can take which will help you reduce your energy bills and improve your environmental footprint without needing to spend any money! Simple changes to your habits can make a big difference in the long run and can help you start reducing your bills and improving your environmental footprint from today. Here are some of our favourite tips:

  • Use cold water when washing your hands, shaving or cleaning your teeth
  • Take shorter showers, ideally 4 minutes or less. Use a shower timer as a reminder
  • Wash laundry in cold water
  • Keep a blanket nearby to provide extra warmth when watching TV or doing other stationary activities on cold evenings
  • Dress for the weather. Before turning on the heater, put on warm clothes. Your body loses most heat through exposed skin, head, hands and feet
  • Heat & Cool naturally – Wherever possible, let nature do the work for you. During winter, prevent heat loss by shutting windows and doors and closing curtains at night, and opening during the day to let the sun in.
  • Turn off appliances at the plug when not using them, as standby power can account for 10-15% of your energy bill
  • Set the thermostat of your fridge to the most efficient setting; your fridge should be set at 3° to 5° and your freezer at -15° to -18°.
  • Whenever possible, dry your clothes on a clothesline instead of in a clothes-dryer.
  • Run your washing machine only on full loads.
  • Keep the oven door closed – every time you open the door the temperature in the oven drops by around 5 – 15 degrees.

Visit this website to compare the different actions you can take by environmental impact, ease and potential savings.