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Sydney to help upgrade high-rise apartments as bill shock bites

6 Cowper Street, Wooloomooloo Sydney - 4th August 2017. Hugh McCormack, Strata manager of the Finger Wharf building.
6 Cowper Street, Wooloomooloo Sydney - 4th August 2017. Hugh McCormack, Strata manager of the Finger Wharf building.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says energy bill increases of up to 40 per cent could be seen for some unfortunate apartment owners this financial year, though a new round of the city’s Smart Green Apartments program could help to reduce the pain.

The city is looking for 20 high-rise apartment blocks to join the program, which aims to cut carbon emissions and utility bills.

The program, which includes 20 buildings a year for 10 years, includes energy and waste assessment and action plans, costed upgrade recommendations, training and networking opportunities, a Waterfix program by Sydney Water, access to an online data portal and implementation support.

Last year’s round saw carbon cuts of 30 per cent, and average energy bill reductions of almost $58,000, or 35 per cent.

“We’re looking for the next 20 buildings to take part in this program, which has already provided such significant environmental and financial benefits to our city,” Ms Moore said.

“We know 70 per cent of all emissions produced in our city come from buildings and that’s why we’ve had such a strong focus on tackling the many inefficiencies in high-rise apartments.”

One of the buildings in last year’s program, the Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo, had savings of $136,612 identified.

The building is one of four McCormack’s Strata Management has entered into the program.

Its director Hugh McCormack said building performance and efficiency was a large consideration for prospective occupiers of apartments.

“Across our portfolio, we’re set to save more than $500,000 per annum as a result of energy efficiency savings we’ve identified with support from the City of Sydney,” he said.

“Apart from the savings, it’s a fantastic community engagement tool for our residents and owners, leading to a real sense of pride in the building.

“Not only do the savings add up, but the value of the property increases as purchasers increasingly seek out sustainable, low cost living.”

To be eligible, apartments need to be located in the City of Sydney and be a minimum of six storeys or 80 apartments.

Applications close on 15 September 2017.

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