High-rise condos are often marketed as energy-efficient but BC Hydro says that is not always the case. (Ron Cogswell/Flickr)

Luxury condo buildings use twice as much electricity as older buildings in B.C.: report

BC Hydro says amenities in new buildings increase energy use by 50 per cent

People living in luxury condos in B.C. may actually be using more energy than those living in older condos.

That’s according to a new report from BC Hydro on Friday that said many new condo buildings are touted as energy-efficient, but the amount of electricity needed to run amenities such as heated pools, hot tubs, fitness centres and movie theatres has actually led to a larger energy footprint than in buildings built before 1990.

“Despite the suites in newer high-rise buildings often being marketed as energy-efficient and including things like LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, the combined electricity usage of the overall building is approximately two times more than high rises built in the 1980s,” the report said, and almost four times as much as low-rise buildings built that decade.

With newer buildings being built bigger, BC Hydro said most residents don’t realize that about half of the building’s overall power use goes to running all of the things outside of their individual suite.

That 50 per cent includes the energy required to power the luxury amenities as well as the elevators, lights in the lobby, hallways and parking garage, and the heating and cooling systems, all day, every day.

If the cost of powering all that was included in residents’ electricity bills, BC Hydro said it would add about $40 a month, nearly doubling their existing bills.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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