Luxury condos may be marketed as being energy-efficient but according to BC Hydro, that’s far from the truth.
The utility company has released a report on the electricity use of high-end condos.
One of the key findings was that British Columbians living in them have a much larger energy footprint than those who live in older condos and apartments.
This is despite boasting energy-efficient products like LED lighting and ENERGY STAR appliances.
Data from BC Hydro shows that electricity use in condos has nearly doubled since the 1980s. Not to mention, more and more British Columbians are purchasing condos than ever — a result of high housing prices.
So, with more condos being built and purchased, the amount of power usage has spiked as well. A high-rise building consumes between three to four times more electricity than a low-rise building.
The report also found that electricity use in high-rise condos increased the most between 1999 and 2009 when the energy consumption of newly-built condos spiked by 65%.
This is due to an increase in luxury amenities, such as heated pools, hot tubs, saunas, fitness centres, and movie theatres.
There’s also a high demand for energy needed to power heating and cooling systems, building lights, parking garages, and elevators — systems that are running 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
If the cost of exterior systems were to appear on a single tenant’s electricity bill, it would almost double the amount, raising the average bill from $43 to $80.
To mitigate power usage, BC Hydro recommends making changes like lighting upgrades, adding occupancy sensors, and using automated controls for HVAC systems.