Sustainability at home

Solar energy is created by the heat and light of the sun. The energy is captured and then turned into usable electricity for your household or business. Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world. More than two million Australian households currently have a solar system on their rooftop. This growth is predicted to continue at a steady upward trend in the coming years.

Solar benefits:

  • Reduce and save money on your electricity bills

  • Increase your property value

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

  • Support renewable energy

  • Generate your own electricity.

Our Energy Future free advice and quotes:

Our Energy Future is a free energy advice service set up by the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) and is proudly delivered by Positive Charge. Positive Charge is a program of the Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd., a not for profit organisation established in 2000, committed to accelerating the energy transition by empowering communities to take action.

Positive Charge energy experts offer tailored advice and ongoing support for all household types, including apartment dwellers and renters. City of Canada Bay residents can contact Positive Charge to receive free advice and support on how to reduce their energy bills, improve comfort levels and improve their environmental footprint.

Contact the hotline on 1300 339 915 for advice and support or visit Our Energy Future.

As part of Our Energy Future, Council is supporting a campaign to assist residents who are considering installing solar. The experts at Positive Charge have conducted a rigorous procurement process in order to find a supplier and installer to recommend.

Contact the hotline on 1300 339 915 for a free quote or sign up online to receive an obligation free quote.

Apartment buildings present particular challenges when installing solar. Visit Our Energy Future for more information and resources about installing solar on your common roof.

Reducing energy consumption can save money and reduce your environmental impact. There are many simple ways to do this and to assist our residents we have joined forces with our local Councils to be part of the Our Energy Future program.

Our Energy Future

Want help to reduce your energy bills?

Council is part of the Our Energy Future program, to help local households, organisations and businesses reduce energy bills, improve comfort levels and improve their environmental footprint.

You can call the free helpline on 1300 339 915 (Mon-Fri, business hours) and get free advice for saving energy. The service can assist you with by providing advice on the following:

  • Solar power

  • Lighting

  • Heating and cooling

  • Draught proofing

  • Appliances

  • Insulation

  • Hot water

  • Green Power.

Keen to install solar power on your home?

If you are a resident, you can also get advice and assistance for installing solar power on your home. 

The experts at Our Energy Future have conducted a rigorous procurement process in order to find a supplier and installer to recommend. 

Find out more: 

  • Call 1300 339 915 to chat to the team about whether or not solar might be right for you

  • Frequently asked questions about solar

  • Sign up online to receive an obligation free quote.

Quick tips on how to reduce your usage and bills

Your average energy use per day is on your electricity bill.

Here are some quick and easy tips to help you save:

1. Set your thermostat at 18 to 20 degrees in winter and a minimum of 26 degrees in summer. Every degree higher in winter or lower in summer will cost you 10 per cent more on your bills.

2. Draught-proof and seal gaps around windows and doors.

3. Low flow shower heads can save up to $110 a year on your hot water costs

4. Wash your clothes in cold water and dry them on a clothes line as this can help you save up to $150 per year on your electricity costs

5. Switch appliances off at the switch - you can save up to $50 by cutting standby power use.

 

Resources

  • Energy Made Easy: This is a Government website which assists people to find the right energy plan by comparing all the providers

  • Energy Rating: This is a Government website which assists people in explaining the star rating program

  • Energy Rating App: This is a Government website which has a link to an app (downloadable from google play or itunes) which identifies the best light bulbs to replace your incandescent and halogen bulbs and also identifies how much you could save by transitioning to LED or CFL

  • Department of the Environment & Energy: This is a Government website which assists people by allowing a comparison of products.


 

It’s important we use water resources wisely and adjust our water use as the conditions change. Even when it rains we need to think water smart to ensure the future of our water supply. Water is a precious resource, so we shouldn’t waste it. Water wise tips are simple things you can do around your home and garden every day to use water efficiently.

There are currently no water restrictions in Sydney, however, Water Wise Rules by Sydney Water are in place and should be followed as Sydney’s prolonged dry weather continues. Water Wise Rules apply to everyone is Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. This includes both residents and businesses.

Under the Water Wise Rules you can:

  • Water lawns and gardens with a sprinkler, irrigation system or hose fitted with a trigger nozzle any day before 10am and after 4pm

  • Use sprinklers or watering systems to establish new lawn and gardens at any time for the first 14 days

  • Use water to cool people and animals

  • Hose paths, driveways and other hard surfaces for safety, health, emergency, constructions or surface discoloration reasons only

  • Wash vehicles, trailers, boats or buildings using a bucket, high pressure cleaning equipment or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle

  • Use bore water, recycled water or rainwater

  • Use water for fire fighting or to test fire systems

  • Commercial nurseries, market gardeners, commercial growers, landscapes and mobile garden contractors can use a sprinkler, irrigation system or hose fitted with a trigger nozzle at any time

  • People responsible for the maintenance of community gardens, bowling greens, cricket wickets, golf tees and greens, croquet, hockey, tennis and racing surfaces can use a sprinkler, irrigation system or hose fitted with trigger nozzle at any time.

10 easy ways to save water in your home

  • Keeping water cool - Keep water in the fridge rather than waiting for the water to cool from the tap

  • Washing vegetables – Wash your vegetables and rinse dishes in a plugged sink or basin – not under a running tap

  • Washing your clothes – Wait for a full load of washing before reaching for the detergent

  • Taking shorter showers – Keep your showers to four minutes

  • Flushing toilet – Use the half flush

  • Thawing frozen foods – Thaw frozen foods in the fridge or microwave instead of under running water

  • Using dishwasher – Make sure your dishwasher is full before using

  • Plug your sink – Use a plug rather than running water to rinse your razor, brush your teeth or wash your face

  • Showering efficiently – Install a AAA rated water saving shower head and save on water and energy costs

  • Checking for leaks – Check for leaking taps and toilets around your home.

10 easy ways to save water in your garden

  • Choosing plants – Plant for the climate & soil in your area

  • Watering efficiently – Use watering cans or trigger nozzles on hoses so that you water the areas that need it

  • Watering your garden – Water your garden before 10am or after 4pm to reduce water loss through evaporation

  • Washing your car – Wash your car with a trigger nozzle on the lawn so that you water and fertilise the grass at the same time

  • Weeding regularly – Remove weeds as soon as they sprout – they take water away from your plants

  • Planting gardens – Group plants with similar needs together so they all get the right amount of water

  • Watering your plants – Water each plant’s roots, not the leaves

  • Mulching your plants – Applying 7-10cm of mulch around plants can save water lost through evaporation

  • Cleaning hard surfaces -  Always use a broom or rake rather than a hose to clean your driveways and hard surfaces

  • Covering your pool – Use a cover to save half your pool water from evaporating each year.

Approximately 50 per cent of residents within the City of Canada Bay live in apartments. Our City is changing, with many new vertical communities emerging which pose a different set of challenges for owners and renters who are looking to reduce their energy use.

The first step is to understand what common property is and what private property is. By understanding this, it will enable you to make changes in your own apartment or provide recommendations to strata for the apartment common areas.

Our Energy Future

Our Energy Future is a free, energy advice service, which independently recommends quality products and companies to help you save energy, money and the planet. If you live in an apartment and are looking for advice on how to reduce your energy bills and cut your carbon emissions, Council recommends that you contact the Our Energy Future hotline on 1300 339 915  or head to their website for more information.

By being more informed, this will enable owners to make informed decisions about ways to reduce their energy and water usage and in turn reduce utility bills, for example:

  • Changing common area lighting to LED

  • Adjusting or replacing energy consuming equipment

  • Installing solar to address common area usage

  • Installing timers to watering systems

  • Measure overnight base flow to assess water leaks.

NABERS for apartment buildings

To assist in reducing energy in apartments, Council recommends that strata committee investigate joining the NABERS for apartment building program.

The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) team have released, national efficiency rating tool for the apartment sector. NABERS will allow apartment blocks to easily identify how to future proof their buildings and make significant savings in their common area bills.

NABERS rated buildings have saved nearly half a billion dollars in energy bills since 2010. Plus, long-term NABERS users reduce energy emissions by more than 40 per cent on average. There may be similar opportunities for environmental and cost savings for new apartment buildings.

Why apply for first-time NABERS ratings?

By obtaining a NABERS rating, it will help decision makers:

  • Understand how well energy or water is managed in the building (owned, managed or occupied)

  • Identify and prioritise opportunities to improve energy or water performance and reduce utility costs

  • Track efficiency improvements over time

  • Report data and promote good performance through a simple, industry standard star rating system.

Resources

The Good practice guide: multi-unit residential facilities management outlines how to improve the sustainability and efficiency of your building. The Guide was developed by the Facility Management Association of Australia and contains useful information for residents, apartment and unit owners, owners corporations, strata committee members or managers, building managers, developers and service providers.

Green Strata is a not for profit formed in response to the problem of how to live more sustainably, and with the lowest possible ecological footprint, as a collection of households within a building or complex formed and legislated under Strata Title.

As an organisation, Green Strata:

  • Are a non-profit incorporated association based in Sydney

  • Are governed by an experienced board whose members are owners and residents in strata-titled properties

  • Are fiercely independent and funded through our own activities and government grants for specific projects

  • Always come from the perspective of owners and residents in strata-titled properties.

The focus is on helping owners and occupiers of existing residential multi-unit properties to improve the sustainability of their common property, their individual units/townhouses and their community of residents. For more information, you can visit Green Strata website.

Case studies from major cities

Hero Apartments - Melbourne

“The owners of the Hero Building installed 200 solar panels that will generate around 53,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity per year. The panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 66 tonnes each year - the equivalent of the annual electricity usage of more than 13 residential homes.”

Regis Towers – City of Sydney

“By understanding and then improving its energy operations, Regis Towers, one of the largest mixed use complexes in Australia is now saving $94,000 (37 per cent) a year on energy bills through installing variable speed drives on motors and fans, and adjusting timers and sensors.”