Luxury high-rise condos are guzzling electricity, BC Hydro report

Luxury high-rise condos are guzzling electricity, BC Hydro report

File photo courtesy CBC.

File photo courtesy CBC.

BC Hydro says despite what you might think, residents of new high-end condos have a much larger energy footprint compared those in older buildings.

That finding in a report released by the corporation Friday that says the driver behind the increased power is for things outside an individual suite, including pools, big gyms, movie theatres and even bowling alleys.

New data says between 1999 and 2009, the average high-rise power consumption increased 65 per cent and the amount of electricity used in condos has nearly doubled since the 1980s.

BC Hydro says with high housing prices, British Columbians are choosing to purchase condos over townhomes or single-family detached homes, with a 22 per cent increase in apartment or condo hydro accounts since 2011.

Although high-end condos are marketed as being energy-efficient, BC Hydro said the combined electricity usage of the overall building is two times more than high rises built in the 1980s and use nearly four times more electricity than low rise structures.

The corporation says if this cost appeared on a condo owners’ electricity bill, it would add about $40 a month.

That is nearly 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.

BC Hydro says adding occupancy sensors, lighting upgrades and automated heating and cooling systems are measures to reduce energy consumption in newer high-rise condos.


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