Solar and strata
Solar energy is becoming more and more popular in Australia, especially with our conducive climate. Perhaps you are a resident or an owner of a strata who is thinking about investing on this for your complex or specific apartment block.
However, going solar in a strata is not as simple as you may think. There are multiple factors that make it tricky — and we will explain these as well as ways to still incorporate it.
Typically, in strata properties, the individual blocks or homes have their own electricity account. If you, as a complex, want solar energy, how will you decide where the solar power goes and who must continue to use the previous energy supplier? If an individual wants solar, then it would require an individual set up which can prove to be difficult.
In strata complexes, there are multiple decision makers, so even making the choice to install solar may take a while and require several people’s approval. And once approved, the installation can prove a hassle depending on your building height, roof structure and wiring capabilities.
Adding panels to a roof may require heavy machines to transport panels and other items. And intense wiring might be needed to activate the solar panels. Plus, getting the right angle and placement is crucial. These are all factors to consider.
There are some solutions though which can assist you in incorporating green solar energy into your building. Keep reading to find out.
Powering common areas
By choosing to focus the solar panels’ energy to power common areas, you avoid the pitfall of some tenants monopolising the “free” energy over others.
Common areas often work off a different meter because they aren’t charging tenants directly, so it is easier to add a solar meter. This will minimise the communal cost in the long run and should benefit everyone through reduced strata bills.
This is perhaps the simplest way to add solar to your building without trying to jump through many hoops and dealing with individuals as a whole.
If the building is only occupied by a few sections and the roof has plenty of space to allocate a solar panel for each tenant, then choosing a solar system per unit may be a better option for you. This means each tenant reaps the benefits of their own solar unit.
However, challenges may arise with this method as well. What if one area of the roof gets more sunlight than another area? What if someone wants a larger panel? Having a mix of renters and buyers could make approval for this difficult.
This is why choosing confident and competent strata companies in Sydney is vital. We at Strata & Co. can help you navigate the tenuous roads of meetings, by-laws and approval processes.
Another method is to use one system that divides the energy up between units. This requires complex computing — and only one company in Australia offers it so far.
Basically, over the course of the month, each apartment gets equal amounts of solar energy distribution. It can be added to existing metering. But because of its rarity in deployment, this may be an idea for the future when it becomes more widely available.
If you want to incorporate solar energy into your strata, there are ways of doing it. Here at Strata and Co., we pride ourselves in providing comprehensive strata management throughout Sydney. This includes navigating all queries and innovations you may have.
For more information, contact our friendly team at 1400 033 947.
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