How to get a renewables project approved in your apartment complex

Whether you want to install rooftop solar or simply switch to GreenPower, here’s how to win your fellow residents’ approval.

Ready to make the switch to renewable energy in your apartment complex? Here are the three main options available to you:

  • installing rooftop solar to provide power for common areas

  • installing rooftop solar to provide power for individual apartments

  • signing up for GreenPower.

If you’re not sure which is the right option for your apartment complex, read The Best Options for Apartment Owners to decide.

How to get solar approved for common area use

Installing solar for common area energy needs requires the passing of a special resolution to modify common property. This must be passed at an annual general meeting or an extraordinary general meeting. No more than 25 per cent of those present can vote against the motion for this to be successful.

If your strata plan is also part of a community association, you may require additional approvals. Get a copy of your community management statement from your strata manager to see whether it contains any provisions relating to solar energy system installation.

Now’s the time to get a quote for your installation. To make the process as simple as possible, use our Request for Quote template [ADD HYPERLINK TO “Use our template when getting a quote for solar”].

Photo: Jessica Lindsay

How to get solar approved for individual apartments

Installing solar for the use of individual apartments requires the passing of a Common Property Rights By-law. This confers a right upon individual lot (apartment) owners to use the whole or any specified part of common property, in line with certain specification outlined in the by-law.

By-laws must be passed by a special resolution at an annual general meeting or extraordinary general meeting. No more than 25 per cent of those present can vote against the motion for this to be successful.

The City of Sydney recommends that by-laws be drafted by an appropriately qualified strata lawyer. Engaging a lawyer ensures the owners corporation is protected and that the by-law adequately meets building needs. The Australian College of Strata Lawyers is the best place to start.

Solar: next steps

Once you’ve obtained the required approvals, it’s time to select a solar supplier and check the City’s approval requirements for your location and system size.

Then you’re ready to install!

How to sign up for GreenPower

GreenPower is electricity generated from clean renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and is supplied to you via the electricity grid. You can sign up for GreenPower for your own apartment today without any special permission.

In a large building, 50% of your electricity use comes from common plant and equipment. So the decision to switch to GreenPower delivers big environmental bang for your buck.

To sign up for GreenPower for your building’s common areas, your Strata Committee simply needs to pass a Special Resolution. You don’t need approval from the Owners Corporation.

GreenPower is also a great supplementary option for buildings that have installed solar energy for common areas but still need to purchase some power from the grid.

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