Sustainable Apartments Program
The Sustainable Apartments Program seeks to motivate and educate management committees, owners and renters of multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) on energy efficiency and solar PV opportunities in apartments, with the overall aim of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. It is free to get involved and be part of the Program. This program ended in June 2020.
COOLmob received funding to run the Sustainable Apartments Program from the City of Darwin Council through the 2019/2020 Community and Environment Grants Program. With apartment living on the rise in Darwin, ensuring apartments and complexes have access to information to make energy efficient decisions will allow these buildings to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. This Program helps achieve goals outlined under the City of Darwin’s Climate Change Action Plan 2011 – 2020, the Switching on Darwin Strategy, as well as the Cities Power Partnership.
What does participating involve?
- COOLmob will meet with 1 or more interested owners / body corporate members of your building to explain the program and ascertain whether there is enough interest to go ahead.
- Your building will receive a free Type 1 Basic energy audit (ISO AS/NZS 3598.1:2014) for common areas of the apartment building (hallways, lights, pool, lifts, carpark, etc.). This will help your body corporate understand where easy and low-cost energy savings can be found. It will also demonstrate how and where power usage is being consumed.
- You will receive a written report outlining where and how much energy is being consumed in the common areas of your building. It will also recommended upgrades for energy performance that are either no-cost or low-cost opportunities (with payback periods of up to 2 years).
- COOLmob Sustainability Officer will provide a toolkit of resources and be available to talk to owners and body corporate about the benefits of installing solar PV. COOLmob will explain the various solar PV options available for apartment buildings. This can include using the rooftop for solar to offset common area power usage, or dividing up the rooftop so various owners can install their own solar PV systems.
- If your building decides they would be interested in pursuing a solar PV quote, COOLmob can assist you in choosing an accredited provider and explain what things you need to look out for and consider.
- All participating buildings will be included in a case study which COOLmob will use to incentivise other apartments buildings in Darwin to increase their energy efficiency.
After a large amount of interest, we’ve now chosen the five apartment buildings to be involved in the program. We will be creating case studies for each building, which can be used by other buildings to understand where savings can be found and the process of installing solar on apartments.
- 2 Elsey Street, Parap
- 7 Gsell Street, Wanguri
- 14 Salonika St, Parap
- 43 McLauchlan St, Darwin
- 2 Mitaros Pl, Parap
Useful resources for apartment buildings looking to go solar
Coming soon! In the meantime, we suggest you take a look at the following articles from trusted sources.
- Renew is a national, not-for-profit organisation that inspires, enables and advocates for people to live sustainably in their homes and communities. Renew published the following article on 11 January 2018: Raising the roof: Solar for renters and apartment dwellers
- The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. They published the following article on 21 June 2017: Get in on the ground floor: how apartments can join the solar boom
- Solar Choice Australia published this piece on 25 June 2019: Solar for strata and apartment blocks: everything you need to know (almost)
- SunTenants, owned by Solar Analytics, deliver great outcomes and experiences for everyone: property owners, tenants, and property managers. Visit their website for information and to see one way you can organise your renting tenants to help pay for solar PV – so it is mutually beneficial!
- University of New South Wales Law Journal Student Series, published this essay by Georgia Pick in 2019: “Here Comes The Sun: Removing The Barriers That Shadow The Uptake Of Rooftop Solar In Australian Apartments“