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Online apartment energy audit gives power to people

Monday, 27 July 2015 | By Denham Sadler

Energy efficiency startup WattBlock has launched a new project in partnership with the City of Sydney which aims to drive down carbon emissions and reduce costs in the city’s residential apartment buildings.


The Virtual Energy Assessments project is being funded through an innovation grant, and has already completed energy reports for buildings in Pyrmont, Zetland and Circular Quay.


Apartment owners in the city can register their strata building to receive the free online assessment. Users enter their details on the WattBlock site, complete an energy profile including some basic information and the last energy bill or financial statement, and get back the report.


It’s on offer to more than 100 residential apartment buildings thanks to the Sustainable Sydney 2030 grant, which aims to make the city as “green, global and connected as possible by 2030”.


WattBlock CEO and founder Brent Clark says it’s a much more cost-effective way to audit a large commercial building.


“They tried to use expensive on-site energy auditing, but that can cost up to $40,000,” Clark says.


“With the virtual energy assessments, we’re providing a cost-effective solution that you can move to scale.


“The City of Sydney has a vision for Sydney to become a leading city for reducing carbon emissions.


“The WattBlock technology drives down the carbon emissions from the building, as well as cutting the energy costs inside the building.”


Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a statement that council is striving to reduce energy costs and emissions.


“Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Moore says.


“With more and more residents living in apartments, we are committed to assisting owners corporations reduce energy consumption and costs.”


More than 200 strata corporations have accessed the WattBlock website since it launched last year, and 240 bodies have used the firm’s online return on investment form.


WattBlock launched a funding round last month, and Clark says they already have two investors committed.


“The interest is coming from the property industry, energy and this new area of environmental impact investing,” he says.


Investor interest in environmentally conscious startups has increased in Australia recently, Clark says.


“It’s a fantastic move forward for the Australian startup scene,” he says.


“There’s a huge global opportunity.”


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