Goldsbrough's Energy – Efficiency Journey

Goldsbrough Apartments has had a rich history, with the original Goldsbrough Woolstore built in 1886. in 1994, it was transformed into a mixed-use residential building, boasting 526 apartments and 48 commercial spaces. 

Over the last 16 years, Goldsbrough Owners Corporation & Oaks Building Manager have relentlessly pursued energy-saving endeavours.

Key Milestones:

2013-2018 Energy Improvements:

  • LEDs across all common areas, including smart tech LEDs with Infra-Red sensor detection to auto dim.
  • Introduced Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) in mechanical and hydraulic pumps, along with air conditioning systems.
  • Implemented light harvesting – dimming 50% of common area lights during non-peak hours.
  • Modernized pool and spa heating, using recoverable heat, from the hot water return line, using thermos-static valve controls & heat exchanges.
  • By 2016, energy costs were reduced to $116k-117k annually, from $240k in 2013.
  • Upgraded five lifts with the latest technology including VSDs.
  • Collaborated with City of Sydney Smart Green Apartments for water-saving installations and secured bulk rates for plumbing services.
  • Continued to monitor LED lighting Industry to plan for future upgrades/replacements. 

2018-19 Opportunities & Challenges:

A hailstorm damaged our roof, leading to an insurance claim of $1.6 million. This unexpected challenge provided an opportunity to redesign the roof to reduce the summer heat load & enable Solar/PV panel installation. 

Energy Australia were offering 20% rebate in Pyrmont for solar installation, leading to a powerful 176kw solar setup with 391 panels.

2020-21 Initiatives:

  • With deregulation in Australia’s energy sector, Goldsbrough was under pressure by the Energy Regulators to takeover cost to run the central electric Hot Water system.
  • Through negotiations with Ausgrid/AER, this allowed time to research and investigation, to turn the challenges into opportunities by planning an embedded hot water user pays network. 
  • Which included business case modelling to replace the 2 x electric boilers (at the End of Life cycle) with the latest tech in heat pumps and gas backups as more efficient water heating solutions (that’s  4 x times efficient).

2022-23 Achievements:

  • Transitioned fully to new energy-efficient Heat Pump systems & the continued feed from the Solar/PV by April 2023, reducing monthly energy costs by approx. 40% from $44k to $27k.  
  • Successfully offsetting a significant portion of energy costs by the recovery of cost due the Occupant/s hot water usage. 
  • As energy costs saw staggering increase nationwide through 2022-23. However, from the initiatives, Goldsbrough have limited the cost exposure and continue to maintain & hold the same pricing as of 1st July 2022 (significantly lower than the market comparison Origin).  

Water Conservation:

Leveraged new heat pump installations to capture condensate water, offsetting evaporation in the Cooling Tower reducing up to 40% of the Sydney Water required to top up. Plans to reuse this water by product into the Cooling Towers systems are underway.

Future Vision:

We’re currently analysing our solar output to determine the potential for battery storage, aiming for peak lopping and energy shifting to flatline the building’s Capacity Demand. Ongoing watch on the tech market is for Vertical Wind Technology, given Pyrmont’s consistent wind availability.

In recognition of our strides in energy efficiency, the Goldsbrough Strata Committee on the 9th October invited Sydney Member Alex Greenwich & Lord Mayor C Moore to mark this the unveiling of a plaque displaying the  “Community Recognition Statement”. The event will include a tour of our Solar/PV rooftop and heat pump systems.