Think your high-end condo is energy efficient? BC Hydro suggests otherwise

Condo towers under construction on Gilmore in the Brentwood area of Burnaby.							Gerry Kahrmann  PNG

Condo towers under construction on Gilmore in the Brentwood area of Burnaby. Gerry Kahrmann PNG

"Also more luxury amenities so things like a pool and a hot tub, sometimes even a bowling alley and movie theatre".

Despite what their energy bills might say, those living in high-end, modern condos marketed as being energy efficient may in fact be using as much as four times more power than those living in older, smaller buildings, a new report from BC Hydro suggests.

That's according to a BC Hydro report release today (Friday).

While apartment and condo dwellers have average electricity bills that are about 50 per cent lower than those in the average single-family home, those lower bills don't tell the whole story.

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 almost four times more electricity than low rise structures.

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BC Hydro data shows electricity use in condos has "nearly doubled since the 1980s, with the largest period of growth between 1999 and 2009 when the average newly built high-rise building's electricity consumption increased by 65 per cent".

High-end condos haven't just put affordability out of reach for most people - they're also pigs when it comes to electricity.

BC Hydro has found that even if you live in a higher end condo building, the amount of power your fancy building consumes may be more than you actually think.

Since 2011, BC Hydro saw a 22 per cent uptick in the number of accounts tied to condos and apartments, which now make up nearly a quarter of the utility's 470,000 residential customers.

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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