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Audit common property in your building

Ease
3
Impact
3

Audit your common property assets including lighting, pool pumps and hot water systems.

Where do I start?

Use our audit form to get started, then enter the data into your Smart Blocks building profile by undertaking this project.

Ask your strata manager or facilities manager if they already have a register of the common property assets in your building. 

If you don’t have a strata manager or facilities manager then the executive committee might have a register of common property.

Get an independent energy audit

If you want to get an independent energy audit completed for your apartment building then you should ask it to be completed in accordance with the AS 3598:2000 Energy Audit standard.

This standard defines energy audits into three levels:

A level 1 audit provides an ‘overview’ or ‘walkthrough’. This will give you initial energy use benchmarks for the site and rough orders of potential savings and costs and an idea of which areas to focus on. You will still need to do more detailed analysis of potential actions.

A level 2 audit is the most common type of audit; it will break down energy use within the building and also provide a more accurate estimate of potential costs and savings from energy saving initiatives. This level of audit would typically be the most suitable for an apartment building.

A level 3 audit provides a detailed analysis and often uses temporary logging devices to capture detailed energy use information. It is unlikely you will need this level of detail for an apartment building’s common areas unless the building is very large or has a range of significant energy using facilities.

When engaging a consultant to undertake an audit first ask for an example of their audit reports and also referees of clients with buildings similar to yours that they have audited previously.

Is it worth the effort?

  • You might be surprised to find out that high-rise apartment buildings use 22 per cent more energy per household than detached houses, as one Sydney-based study has shown
  • And common property is not cheap to operate and maintain; a range of audits undertaken in Melbourne have shown that the cost of energy use in common areas can range from less than $100 up to almost $1000 per apartment per year

When common property assets like lighting, hot water systems, and pool pumps are made more energy efficient you generally find that energy costs fall. This can mean reduced levies for all owners because energy costs are lower. A well-managed building with lower levies and more efficient assets has the potential to make apartments more valuable as well.

Recent energy audits* have identified that making common property more energy efficient has annual energy savings of up to 60 per cent, and average payback periods of just over 3 years.

By taking action to make common property more energy efficient you can also encourage residents to save energy within their own apartments.

*Audits undertaken for the 'SOCS and Blocks' and 'Energy Saver' programs in New South Wales and Victoria.