Luxury high-rise condos are 'guzzling electricity,' says BC Hydro

Luxury high-rise condos are 'guzzling electricity,' says BC Hydro

"Also more luxury amenities so things like a pool and a hot tub, sometimes even a bowling alley and movie theatre".

A new report indicates those new so-called energy efficient high-end condos may actually be energy hogs.

Luxury condos may be marketed as being energy-efficient but according to BC Hydro, that's far from the truth.

This means that the energy footprint of those living in newer condo buildings can be several times larger than those residing in older apartments. "What we've found is these newer high-rises use about double the amount of electricity as buildings built in the 1980s".

That is almost double the average bill of $43 dollars a month and moves it closer to the average single-family home's power bill of $103 per month. In fact, the average newly built high-rise building's electricity consumption has increased by 65 per cent.

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Since 2011, BC Hydro saw a 22 per cent uptick in the number of accounts tied to condos and apartments, which now make up nearly a quarter of the utility's 470,000 residential customers.

"With sales, and construction of highrise buildings increasing, so is the amount of power being used", says BC Hydro.

"Based on Statistics Canada data, it can be assumed that the number of condos in B.C. will increase over the coming years", the report read, adding that there are more than 45,000 units now under construction.

To mitigate power usage, BC Hydro recommends making changes like lighting upgrades, adding occupancy sensors, and using automated controls for HVAC systems.

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.

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