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The story of Smart Blocks

These days, many of us city dwellers live up near the clouds, scraping the sky in high-rise apartments.

In fact, forty per cent of new housing in Australian cities is in medium and high-density developments.

Yet apartment buildings are notorious energy guzzlers. On average, residents of high and medium density blocks use 25% more energy than those in detached dwellings. Up to half of this energy use comes from common areas like hallways, car parks and swimming pools.

Saving energy in these common areas makes sense.

When an apartment complex has six-figure electricity bills, switching to energy efficient lighting, installing solar panels, tweaking heating and hot water systems and retrofitting carbon sensors to car park ventilation systems has the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s not always easy to know where to start, and there’s a mind-boggling amount of information out there.

Smart Blocks is a free national program that cuts through the fog, with expert advice specific to your State or Territory so you can achieve smarter and more efficient outcomes for your building.

As all buildings are different, we have developed toolkits to audit your building’s energy use and work out the feasibility and impact of different steps you can take.

We’ll give you the right tools so you can get started on energy efficiency projects in the common areas of your building. These changes will save money on power bills, reduce carbon emissions and improve the value of your property.

For example, we provide online support to help you navigate the complex strata environment. We’ve prepared templates to guide you through each step of the process from drafting a motion of intent to holding meetings and votes at AGMs and EGMs. We can also connect you to rebate and incentive schemes.

So far, almost 650 buildings across the country have signed up to Smart Blocks, and the results speak for themselves.

Last year, Freshwater Place apartments in Melbourne’s CBD replaced 1200 globes with LED lights and is saving more than 62,000 kWh of energy per year. The switch paid for itself in just over two years.

Apartment owners in Nicholson Gardens installed solar panels to power a pool pump and lights in common areas. Their yearly energy bill dropped from $12,000 to $2000, and they expect the project to pay itself back within two and a half years.

As Australian cities grow taller, Smart Blocks is helping apartment owners and managers reach for the sky to save money and energy.

We'll show you how.