In her latest post to Flat Chat, Julie McLean, president of Strata Community Australia (Vic), explains the urgent need for strata to prepare for our zero emissions future.
Australia’s nearly three million strata households will need to transition to electric equipment, including cars, heaters, hot water systems, cooktops, and ovens, if the country hopes to achieve its zero-emissions goal by 2040. This presents a significant challenge, as these households represent 15 million purchasing decisions and only 17 years to make the necessary changes.
Additionally, there are approximately 341,000 strata buildings across the country that will need to upgrade their common property with solar panels, batteries, central hot water, heating plants, and power supplies.
This adds a further 1.7 million purchasing decisions and only 17 years to prepare. In Victoria alone, there are around 116,000 strata buildings with common property to upgrade, requiring a further 580,000 purchasing decisions to be made in just 17 annual budgets.
Strata owners in Victoria will also need to make 4.5 million purchasing decisions in the same time frame.
Regardless of the size of the building, there are numerous tasks that need to be completed, including upgrading switchboards, transformers, and/or substations; issuing electrical compliance certificates; inspecting buildings for structural integrity, fire compliance, electrical loadings, legal and financial planning; obtaining expert reports; and disconnecting gas for 116,000 buildings, with an additional 580,000 gas compliance certificates to be issued/inspected.
Strata owners will also need to modify 900,000 kitchens, make 4.5 million purchasing decisions, and explore financial planning to make the necessary investments.
It is clear that governments, strata committees, and managers need to start planning now. The Victorian Government needs to provide clear roadmaps for accessibility to power supply, eligibility for sustainable incentive schemes, and building regulations for retrofitting electric vehicles to existing structures, including car stackers, heat pumps, and solar panels.
Strata committees need to provide owners with a clear roadmap of what needs to be upgraded, by when, and how it will be funded. Strata managers need to provide leadership, strategic planning, access to experts in the field, funding options, and good communication.
The urgent need for strata to prepare for a zero-emissions future cannot be overstated. The challenge is significant, but with proactive planning and action, it can be achieved.