Urban living: a high-density roadblock to sustainable lifestyles

Wednesday, 01 June, 2016 | Supplied by: Enphase Energy

Urban living: a high-density roadblock to sustainable lifestyles

Big city living is an aspiration for many Australians, but with rising costs to the owners and the environment, it is a dream that is at risk of becoming unachievable for future generations. The 2016 Urban Living report by the Urban Taskforce has indicated that a staggering 24% of Australia’s population, with much more in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, dwell in medium- to high-density housing such as shared flats and apartments.

Many of these urbanites are highly aware of climate change and sustainability issues. While 87% of Australians believe it is a present issue that we do bear responsibility for, the choice for many of these Australians in medium- and high-density living spaces to live sustainability is simply not available. This is because of the myriad of issues that prevent them, or their landlords, from integrating sustainable technologies such as solar into their dwellings.

Meeting the demand for ‘futureproofed’ living

More and more property buyers across Australia are beginning to expect futureproofed dwellings which are sustainably designed and equipped with renewable energy. These properties can produce cost savings as well as increase future resale value through energy-efficient building materials, appliances and technologies that can act as a buffer to the dangers of future energy or resource cost increases.

Apartment developers have had difficulty meeting this demand due to limits of existing solar technology. With several apartments each needing their own ‘system’, the transparent distribution of harvested solar energy to owners is a daunting task.

Taking on the challenge with Flo Apartments, Psaros succeeded in style with 86 residential apartments that confer all the benefits of ecologically sustainable design, with full owner control of said benefits. Leveraging Enphase’s distributed Microinverter architecture, Flo allows apartment owners to actively participate in a form of sustainable living that benefits their carbon footprint as well as their bill.

A whole new level of energy independence for apartments

Not satisfied with solar being used to only passively reduce costs, Psaros assigned 2 kW of its 172 kW rooftop system to each apartment to give Flo apartment dwellers an active role in reducing their own carbon emissions. Made possible by the flexibility of the Enphase Microinverter System, the individual allocation of 2 kW systems means that each apartment can view its own solar energy generation and benefit from net cost savings.

These microinverters are not only effective, achieving high solar yields for each panel, but invisible as well, without any high-voltage DC wiring across the rooftop that could risk marring the design aesthetic of the beautiful apartments. In fact, the sleek installation looks like a single system of panels from the outside to any rooftop observer.

By actively building ecofriendly habits, residents have the opportunity to cut their power bills by up to 50% — and if this isn’t incentive enough, the ability to compare solar power generation with surrounding neighbours provides that extra little bit of competition. The best part? While owners get to save and indulge their inner ecochampion, Psaros wins as well with a shrinking carbon footprint on its property development.

The success of Flo Apartments proves that there is overwhelming buyer support for projects incorporating renewable technologies. By continuing to pioneer projects that overcome traditional roadblocks to sustainable living, daring developers and installers are lighting the way forward for the rest. Not only are they cost cutting, but people are recognising that this is the way of the future. Enphase is proud to be helping build that future where energy is evolved.

Online: www.enphase.com/au
Phone: 03 8669 1679
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