Carbon Neutral construction: Good for environment and wallet

They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s definitely proven profitable to focus on carbon neutral and renewable energy sources in home construction.

Fremantle-based Montreal Commons, set to become one of the first carbon neutral apartment buildings in Australia, will save its tenants 50 percent on body corporate fees under a renewable energy deal between OP Properties and Power Ledger.


The five-storey, 39-apartment complex has set a benchmark for sustainable apartment design and will use developer-funded 75kW solar PVs and battery storage, which will be topped up with energy from the grid through local energy retailer Change Energy.

The estimated carbon reduction from the project is about 240 tonnes of carbon per year, or 6 tonnes per apartment.

“There is strong demand in the Australian property market for renewable energy solutions,” Luke Parker, director of OP Properties, said. “The problem is that it normally costs more to live or invest in low carbon dwellings.”

“We wanted to deliver apartments that provided a financial reward for being low-carbon, which would be a win-win, as it would accelerate our apartment sales, investor support and the take up generally of low-carbon living.”

Tenants will be able to sell excess electricity generated back to the 670kWh onsite battery using Power Ledger’s energy trading platform, while also having the ability to buy back electricity during times of peak demand at an agreed price.

“Power Ledger is one of the leading innovators for renewables, driving the expansion of green energy through its work to create economically viable P2P energy trading networks secured by block-chain technology,” Parker said.

The energy trading platform uses block-chain technology to ensure that every energy transaction is accurately tracked, verified as renewable, and transparent. “The combination of developer-funded solar, Power Ledger’s trading platform and unique strata ownership model will result in a small income stream to the strata company equating to about 50 per cent of strata levies a year,” Parker said.

“Distributing via the strata company ensures the benefit is equitably spread to all owners regardless of whether they are owner-occupiers or investors with tenants in the dwelling.”

OP Properties will cover the full cost of installing the solar PV system, ensuring no debt or payback period for apartment owners, with ownership and full benefits of the system handed over to the future strata company – meaning the full financial benefit goes towards lower strata levies.

Images via The Fifth Estate

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