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How to save electricity in sectional title schemes

Trustees of sectional title schemes or their managing agents should consider installing environmentally friendly systems to heat water and to save electricity in other areas.

Not only will installing such equipment raise the value of units in the scheme, but this will help residents control their expenditure and save on electricity, says Johann le Roux, executive director of Propell, who provide financing to bodies corporate and homeowners' associations.

Solar panels and heat pumps will save around 40% on the overall electricity bills. These energy saving systems usually pay for themselves within two to five years, after which the residents will continue to enjoy the reduction in their electricity bills each month.

This type of installation is usually listed as a special project and trustees or managing agents might have been putting off carrying out this exercise because of a lack of funds or the reluctance to raise a special levy to cover the costs.

"Propell offers project finance, particularly for large projects like this," says Le Roux "Everyone is feeling the need to save energy and money but if you live in a sectional title scheme it relies on getting everyone to agree to it and the management of the scheme implementing the project."

The finance available through Propell will enable the scheme to fund the installation in full and in most cases the monthly saving on the municipal account could cover the repayment instalment each month, said le Roux.

Once the loan is repaid, the saving will help the body corporate's cash flow and reduce the need for future increases in levies or the need to raise special levies for other projects (i.e. they will be able to "bank" the surplus and build up a reserve fund).


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