NEWS

Strata renters: have your say on renewable energy

Published on 05/08/2020

Rooftop solar

We know that renters' voices are often missing when it comes to discussions about renewable energy and strata living. But there is currently an opportunity to be heard, as the NSW government is looking at initiatives to boost renewable energy and reduce power bills for people who live in apartments rather than houses. This year will also see a statutory review of strata law, which is a very good time to be engaged in the conversation.

If you rent in an apartment, townhouse or villa, please fill in this new survey being run by UTS Institute For Sustainable Futures and City of Sydney. which looks at the barriers to installing sustainability infrastructure (i.e.solar panels, batteries, smart meters, efficient hot water systems etc).

The survey will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 9 August.

The survey takes 10-15 minutes and will assist the NSW Government to better understand the best ways to remove barriers for owners, tenants and owners corporations wanting to install sustainability infrastructure.

By completing it you will be entered into a prize draw for an iPad Air 64GB valued at $779, to be held on the 17th August 2020.

Please help spread the word far to other strata residents. You can download a flyer here for printing and posting on your building's noticeboard. 

 

Further information

This survey is part of a research project by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology and Green Strata for the Department of Industry, Planning and Environment. Your privacy is important to us. Any information provided will be solely used for the purposes of the stated research project and will not identify you in any way.

Please see the first page of the survey for further details on the project, how we will use the information you give us and how we will ensure confidentiality.

SUSTAINABILITY INFRASTRUCTURE SURVEY - BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Apartment residents face unique challenges in retrofitting their buildings with sustainability infrastructure.
This is reflected in the proportion of NSW residences with a solar PV connection - 18% of houses in NSW
have solar PV installed on their rooftops, while only 0.5% of strata schemes have connected solar PV
systems.

To date, most NSW government residential sustainability programs and resources have focused on
addressing sustainability barriers for houses, but not apartment buildings. In March 2019, the NSW
Government announced a series of initiatives to boost renewable energy and reduce power bills in
apartments, including to:

  • Cut red tape for strata residents looking to install solar panels, batteries and electric vehicle charging stations to ensure tenants and owner occupiers in apartments can also benefit from clean energy,
  • Review any regulatory barriers to apartments becoming more sustainable, and
  • Make it easier for people in apartments to install solar panels, batteries, and other sustainability infrastructure through regulatory change.

To facilitate the Government’s commitment, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the
Department) is seeking to better understand the barriers faced by owners, tenants and owners
corporations in existing apartment buildings to install sustainability infrastructure and benefit from
investments in sustainability infrastructure. For the purposes of this project, sustainability infrastructure is
defined as:

  • digital electricity meters
  • solar panels
  • batteries
  • energy efficient hot water heaters
  • electric vehicle charging stations
  • other emerging innovations such as demand response services (for example Virtual power plant (VPP) platforms); and energy management services (for example Solar Analytics or Watt Watchers).

The Department is seeking to investigate the end-to-end customer journey for:

  • owners of individual apartments,
  • tenants of individual apartments, including vulnerable customers, and
  • owners corporations, for common areas and shared services of apartment buildings

This will involve a comprehensive mapping exercise to help identify customer pain points, regulatory and
non-regulatory barriers, process improvements, and potential solutions in enabling uptake of such
infrastructure in apartment buildings. It will also help identify where barriers are shared between
infrastructure types and how NSW legislation and other government actions (for example government
programs) can be streamlined to link the respective customer journeys to facilitate uptake.