As the world becomes more aware of the importance of sustainable living, many strata buildings are considering switching to solar power to power the common property of the building. Not only does solar power help to reduce carbon emissions, but it can also save you money on your energy bills in the long run.
However, before making the switch, there are several factors that strata owners should consider. Here’s what you need to know:
- Installing Solar Panels is an infrastructure upgrade
Installing Solar Panels on common property is considered a sustainability upgrade. With the changes to the Strata Titles Act 1985, Strata Companies are now empowered to make improvements to common property. Previously Strata Companies were restricted to using strata funds to maintain, repair, renew or replace. The amendments to the Strata Titles Act, which came into effect on May 1st 2020, empower strata companies to improve the common property – not just maintain and repair. And improvements that are classified as sustainability infrastructure improvements, can be authorised via an ordinary resolution (passed by a majority vote).
- Check your strata bylaws and regulations
Before considering the installation of solar panels, it’s important to check the strata bylaws and regulations. Some buildings may have restrictions on the installation of solar panels, so it’s important to check bylaws or check with your strata manager.
- Consider the orientation and shading of your building
The orientation and shading of your building can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your solar panels. Ideally, your building roof should be facing north or northwest, as this will ensure that your panels receive maximum sunlight throughout the day. Shading from trees or nearby buildings can also reduce the effectiveness of your panels, so it’s important to consider whether it is appropriate for your building.
- Calculate your energy needs
Before installing solar panels, it’s important to calculate your energy needs. This will help you to determine how many panels you need and what size they should be. It’s also important to consider the peak times of energy usage in your building, as this will impact the size and effectiveness of your solar system.
- Choose the right solar panels
There are many different types of solar panels available, each with their own pros and cons. It’s important to choose the right type of panel for your building, taking into account factors such as efficiency, durability, and cost.
- Consider the cost and financing options
While solar panels can save you money in the long run, they do require an upfront investment. It’s important to consider the cost of installation and maintenance when deciding whether this is a cost the Strata Company can afford.
Many Strata Companies in Western Australia are making the switch to solar to power their common property and now that the process is easier and can be passed through an ordinary resolution it may be something you want to consider.
Contact your strata manager if this is something you want to look into. They will help you source quotes from reputable installers and providers and put forward the proposal for a vote.