Vertical communities can be vibrant, social places to live without compromising the environment. Whether you are an owner or a renter, there are many ways you can live in a healthy home and save money by implementing sustainability initiatives relating to energy and water use, balcony and communal gardens, sustainable transport initiatives and disposing of your waste responsibly.

Smart Blocks

Up to half the energy used in apartment buildings comes from common property such as car parks, hallway lights and pools. Smart Blocks is an online tool to assist apartment owners and managers through the process of implementing energy efficient measures in their common property. The Smart Blocks program has received funding from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism as part of the Energy Efficiency Grants Program.


Renting doesn’t mean you have no control over your electricity bills. There are many ways you can save energy.

  • Choose appliances, such as, fridges, clothes washers, heaters and televisions that have a high Energy Star Rating
  • Only heat or cool rooms you are using or put a jumper on if you’re cold or snuggle up to a hot water bottle before turning on a heater
  • A fan is far more energy efficient than the air conditioner and can be just as effective in making you feel more comfortable on hot days
  • Purchase GreenPower to go that extra step to reducing your greenhouse gas emissions
  • Switch off unused appliances at the power point

Visit the Nature Conservation Council’s Green Renters site or the Alternative Technology Association for more ways to reduce your impact on the environment and save money.

Common Area Lighting

Slash your electricity bill by retrofitting lights in common areas to more energy efficient options such as T5 fluorescent tubes and LEDs, and installing lighting timers and control mechanisms.  Visit the Better Business Partnership Better Deal Lighting webpage for lighting products assessed and recommended by the Alternative Technology Association.  Lighting upgrades may also attract financial assistance through the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme.