Steps That An Apartment Association Can Take To Conserve Energy

Energy conservation is something that every apartment association is bent about these days – and there’s a reason behind this. Apartment complexes are huge structures, and the overall energy consumption in an apartment complex will normally be very high. The scenario grows worse especially during the winter season, when people start switching on their heaters without a second thought.

The general need for energy conservation is high, and residents these days are more environmentally inclined and eco-conscious. In such a scenario, any apartment association will be expected to carve out some measures through which the overall power consumption in the apartment complex can be reduced.

Save All The Energy You Can In Your Apartment ... It Counts!

Save All The Energy You Can In Your Apartment ... It Counts!

There are many ways through which members of an apartment association and residents together bring down their consumptions levels, and these are just everyday steps that are easy to follow.

Performing an Energy Audit

Performing an energy audit is a very effective way of bringing down the power consumption levels. All you need to do is monitor your energy consumption for over a week, because in this way you’ll easily be able to spot the appliances which consume the most power. The honor unanimously goes to air conditioners during the summer months and heaters during the winter months, thanks to the extreme Indian weather.

Performing an energy audit will help you gauge if any appliance is malfunctioning and not working properly. Appliances that are past their prime can drain a lot of energy, and these need to be identified and replaced immediately.

Insulating Your Exteriors

With the advent of winter, heaters are bound to start working full time in every household in the apartment complex. By improving the insulation in the exterior walls of the house, better protection against the cold can be provided, and this will consequently help in setting the electricity bill right.

You can hire the services of a professional to get the insulation done, and this will cost you significantly lesser when compared to electricity bills that you’ll have to meet through the winter months.

Improving Your Interiors

Design the interiors of your house in a good way so that there are enough spaces for natural sunlight to creep through. Open all blinds and pull back all the curtains in the morning, while ensuring that you never turn on the lights, on any account. During winter time, cover all the windows in your house with thick drapes so that the heat stays within the room. This is a very effective method that many people follow.

Giving your interiors a new twist also includes changing your old power draining bulbs and lighting accessories with new age energy efficient ones. There are many LED light bulbs that are available in the market, and these bulbs provide the same light for lesser power. By introducing these LED light bulbs, you can majorly cut down on your overall electricity expenses.

Maintaining your appliances well can also help you save energy. Furnaces and other heating equipments come with filters, and these have to be regularly cleaned so that the appliances don’t consume too much power.


ApnaComplex is web-based apartment management software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing the complex. For example, ApnaComplex has an expense tracking module that provides ability to track the common area electricity bill and diesel generator expenses every month and can provide you a month wise comparison of these charges. Your association can take decisions that bring down the cost and compare if the actions taken were effective.Sign up your complex today and get the benefits! Yes, we offer a 30-day trial!


Diwali – A few Do’s and Don’ts for your Apartment Complex

It’s that time of the year again. The whole country reverberates to the joy of celebrations over a five-day period. There’s music, food, light and an air of prosperity all around! Yes, we’ll soon be celebrating Diwali, the festival of light that marks the victory of good over evil.

Celebrated with great joy and festivities in most parts of India, it is marked by the lighting of lamps, crackers, exchange of greetings and gifts, buying gold, decorating of home and sharing sweets with family and friends.

Diwali - Festival of Lights

Along with all the above, the festival of Diwali has also become associated with firecrackers that cause injuries and leave people with burns, loss of eyesight, damage to the ears and to property if adequate care is not taken. Every year, there is a significant number of burns and other injuries that are reported during the festival.

Download Posters you can use in your Complex

Do’s and Don’ts

It is therefore important that each one of us who is celebrating with firecrackers follow a few Dos and Don’ts to ensure that Diwali ends as a happy festival for one and all. If you are a member of the Managing Committee of your residential complex, make sure you list down your Dos and Don’ts so that every resident is aware of what they should and should not do to make it a festival that everyone enjoys.

We provide a list of Dos and Don’ts that you can use as it as is or as a guideline for your apartment complex. You can download the Diwali Do’s and Dont’s poster, print it and post it in your society notice board as is or under your official letterhead.

NEVER

ALWAYS

Buy fire crackers from street vendors. Buy fire crackers of a reputed brand from a well-known shop.
Carry or throw firecrackers for fun. Handle fire crackers carefully. Read instructions before lighting a firecracker.
Have flammable materials like wood, electrical cables, fuel, lighted lamps etc. around where you store or light fireworks. Store your fireworks in a safe area. Clear the area around before starting to light crackers.
Burst crackers in crowded areas. Keep a couple of buckets of water handy for putting out fires. Remember, every major fire starts small.
Let your children burst crackers on their own. Have an adult accompany children while bursting crackers.
Wear long, loose synthetic clothes while lighting crackers. The loose ends can catch fire. Wear well-fitting cotton clothes.
Light crackers bare foot. Wear shoes or slippers while bursting crackers.
Leave spent sparklers on the ground. Put the spent sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as you’ve used them.
Ignore a burn injury. Wash the affected area with plenty of cold water and seek medical help.
Ignore an eye burn Wash the eye with plenty of water then rush the victim to the hospital.

Have a Happy and Safe Diwali.

Download this table in easy to print format

Designate areas to light fire crackers

Another important thing that is mandatory in a gated community is to light fire crackers only in designated areas. While, every one loves to light crackers in their balconies or just outside their flat, it is not preferred as it can lead to serious fire accidents. It is imperative that in a community, the managing committee designates areas where fire crackers can be lighted and for all the members to follow the same. Usual places where fire crackers cannot be burnt are balconies, staircases, lobbies, lawns. It is also important that fireworks are lighted only during desinated timings to avoid disturbing residents of your complex.

We offer here a template that your association can customize updating the designated timings, designated areas to light crackers and also update emergency contact numbers. You can share the notice with your residents, print the same on your society’s letter head and put it up in all notice boards. Download the Diwali Notice template to customize it for your complex.

With a little bit of care and caution, Diwali can be enjoyed by one and all. Take that few additional steps to make sure that the festival leaves only pleasant memories for all involved. We wish you a very happy and safe Diwali!


10 Eco-Living Tips for Everyone

Today, there is growing awareness and acceptance of the fact that our lifestyle directly or indirectly affects the environment. Whether it is global warming, changing climate patterns, shortage of drinking water and energy, dwindling forest cover, the extinction of species… we know that somewhere, it is the choices we make that is responsible for these events. Unfortunately, although most of us have good intentions and would like to make a positive difference, not many are sure how we, living in cities and struggling to cope with the challenges of daily life, can do anything to help the environment. 

In this article, we present 10 simple and actionable ideas that almost each one of us can carry out to make a positive difference to the environment. These changes will not require you to change your lifestyle drastically, but they will leave a powerful and lasting impact on the world around us. In addition, these changes will help reduce expenses and lead to more balanced and healthy living.

Please read this article to see if you could change the way you’re living for the benefit of our beautiful world. At the end, if you feel these changes are helpful, we request you to forward it to your friends and relatives. Let’s do the best we can for the world around us. We owe it to the Earth and our future generations!

1. Save energy:

The easiest way to make a difference is by reducing energy consumption. Nowadays, energy-efficient bulbs are easily available. They are not only inexpensive they also consume up to five times lesser energy than ordinary bulbs. All it needs is a bit more effort from our side to make the change.

Also use cooking gas prudently. Plan your cooking such that you have all the ingredients handy before you light the gas. This can considerably reduce consumption over a period of a month. Similarly, avoid drying your clothes in a washing machine as it is very energy-consuming. Dry your clothes the natural way – using the abundant sunlight that our country receives by using any empty area in one of the rooms.

2. Eco-friendly material for your home:

Use water-based, lead-free paints for your home. Ensure that the paints do not give off fumes that will affect the air quality around you. While choosing furnishing, opt for those made from cotton, jute, silk, or other natural fibers as they are bio-degradable and healthier for the entire family. They can also be recycled for future use as a kitchen mop or for carrying out simple dusting and cleaning jobs. Wherever possible opt for environment-friendly cleaning liquids and soaps. Read the labels to check whether they have any detrimental affect on the environment.

3. Reduce waste:

If you keep a small garden patch or potted plants then you should collect organic and inorganic waste separately. Leftover food, fruit and vegetable peel, used tea leaves, etc. can be collected in the organic waste bin and used as compost for your plants. The inorganic waste can be disposed as usual. This will not only reduce the amount of waste in the city but also your dependency on fertilizers for your plants. The best way to reduce waste is to avoid it at the source itself. For example, you could carry your own shopping bags instead of bringing home plastic bags each time you shop and then disposing them. Similarly, while requesting a home-delivery, you can specify that you need the minimal packaging.

4. Use public transport:

Whenever possible, avoid using the car and walk or take the public transport. Not only will it improve your health and cut down your fuel bills, it will also reduce emissions into the atmosphere. Actively look for opportunities to form a carpool with members of your society for work or for dropping children at their school.

5. De-clutter your surroundings:

Keep only those things that you’d need on a regular basis. Dispose the ones that you do not foresee using for a long time. To avoid over-storage, dispose off the older items the moment you have bought a replacement for it. This policy will also ensure that you’ll seriously consider your buying decisions. In short, think before you buy. It will not only save you money but it will also ensure that as a society we consume only that much we need.

6. Replace disposable with reusables:

Try to change the way you shop. Buy stuff that you can keep for a longer duration rather than those that you’d have to throw after use. Switch to reusable razors, batteries, ink cartridges, bags, coffee filters, etc. If you use tissue papers, switch to cloth napkins. If you have a printer at home, then make it a point to use both sides of the paper. 

7. Reduce unnecessary consumption:

If you are going to need something only once, try to borrow it from a friend. Similarly, you should offer anything that your friend may need only once in a while. This will reduce unnecessary consumption on our part. Some items that you could avoid buying double can include books, movie and music cds, games, etc.

8. Switch to a vegetarian diet:

Not only is it proven that livestock contribute more greenhouse gases (18%) than transportation (13.5%), they also consume enormous amounts of grain to feed them. This reduces the amount of food grains that are available to feed the world’s hungry. Switching to a vegetarian could change the imbalance and ensure that there is enough for everyone to eat.

9. Conserve water:

Water is a precious commodity we all know. That it will soon become (if it hasn’t already) a scarce commodity is a fact that we’ll have to accept. It’s time we learnt to conserve the limited amount of fresh water we have. Use water only when you need it. Eliminate wastage of water through leaking pipes and faucets. Also make sure that they are not left on while you are finishing a task. Use washing machines when you have a full load of laundry. Use recycled water while washing your car. Look around your home and identify tasks where you might be wasting water. Make a conscious effort to reduce wastage in your home. 

10. Buy local:

Wherever possible, encourage manufacturers and producers of goods around your locality. Local goods will not only be fresher but also cheaper than branded items. You could also avoid all the unnecessary packaging and storage that accompanies items that have traveled from far. The greater the distance the goods you buy travel, greater is their impact on the environment in terms of fuel and effort involved in transporting them to your locality.  Your patronage of local items will also allow you to give direct feedback that could improve the quality of the goods and the service.

These may seem like little drops in the face of the tsunami of changes we are seeing in the environment. But believe us, if each one of us makes these changes, we could tilt the balance in favour of Mother Nature. Do not undermine the results of these efforts – be positive and let’s make a positive difference – from today!


No more power failures in your residential complex!

Unless you live in one of the super-exclusive localities in India, power failures will be an all too familiar concept. As you go further into the interiors, frequent power cuts become the norm instead of the exception. And the way the power situation appears, India will be experiencing a major shortage of power in the coming years irrespective of the efforts of the government. Sure, we have diesel generators for back-ups. But with the increasing cost of fuel and the environmental impact of fossil fuels, it’s not the wisest choice either.

So what’s the solution? For a country like India, which enjoys an average of 300 sunny days, the answer is blowing in the air: yes, Solar Energy. Environmental-friendly, renewable, and being completely free, solar energy should be the obvious future for India. It should be the ideal solution for residential complexes like yours to reduce power cuts as well as your electricity bills.  All it needs is the will and the foresight to make an investment that will pay dividends in the years to come.

Use of Solar Power in Residential Societies

A wonderful example of a residential complex going solar right from inception is Rabi Rashmi Abasan (http://www.bengaldcl.com/Rabi_rashmi.htm) society in Kolkata. This complex consists of bungalows with each bungalow being fitted with solar photovoltaic panels on their rooftops. In turn, each bungalow is fitted with a solar heater that is connected to the kitchen and bathrooms. These solar panels generate around 60 units of electricity every day – which is about two units for every home. The complex still uses power from the main electricity grid, but the dependency and thus the bills, are much lower. Any surplus energy that the society generates gets pushed back into the state power utilities. The difference between what the society uses from the power grid and what it pushes back is monitored and the society pays the balance to the electricity board. This project was envisioned by the West Bengal government, to showcase how solar power can drastically reduce traditional power consumption in modern homes.

Cities Encouraging Solar Power

Rabi Rashmi is an example of just one project. There’s an example of a city that has adopted solar energy as the way to power its future. No, it’s difficult to guess the city as it’s not one of the metros or even one of the other larger cities. The city we are talking about is Thane in Maharashtra.

Their effort started a few years back when they introduced solar panels at the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College. The introduction of solar heating reduced their electricity bills by a whopping Rs. 9 lakh per annum as it heated around 19,000 litres on a daily basis. Buoyed by the success of this exercise, the Thane Municipal Corporation offered a 10% cut in property tax for those residential complexes that adopt this facility. It was noticed that societies that adopted solar heating were able to recover their costs as early as three years.  So successful was the experiment that the corporation has now made it mandatory for all upcoming complexes to have solar water heaters as part of their facilities.

Cities like Bangalore and Pune are other examples where the government is taking proactive steps to encourage the use of solar energy. Bangalore has the largest deployment of rooftop solar water heaters in the country, generating a daily equivalent of 200 MW, with 60% of the city’s household and industrial units using solar water heaters. It also offers an incentive of Rs. 50 on monthly electricity bills for residents using roof-top thermal systems. This is now being mandatory for all new structures. Pune is the other city, which, like Thane and Bangalore, has made installation of solar water heaters in new buildings mandatory. At present, it is estimated that 20 per cent of houses in Pune are using solar water heating units.

Power Solar Equipments for Residential Use

Residential solar panels are available in various shapes, sizes and categories. You should select the panels depending on your requirement and your investment ability. For a typical household that uses four Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs of nine watts, a fan and a television set for six hours every day, the solar panel would cost around Rs 25,000. To run all the fans, lights and other gadgets, the cost would be anywhere between Rs 30,000 and 60,000. And if you plan to install a 100-litre water heater, the cost will be around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000.

Residential complexes could start with using the energy generated to power the common facilities in: the lawns, the passages, the fans, lights and computer in the society office, the security cabin, club house, etc. You could then move to installing solar heaters for all residents of your complex. Studies show that as much as 25% of a household’s electric consumption is for heating water! Imagine if that cost can be totally eliminated for life! You can also consider replacing your diesel-guzzling back-up generators with environment-friendly solar power. With fuel prices on the rise, this is one investment that can show healthy savings in the immediate future.

Once installed, maintaining solar panels is pretty easy. They are flexible enough to be moved from one place to another. If you can keep it away from dirt and pollution, you won’t need to service it regularly either. All you need to maintain it properly is clean and wipe it regularly so that the efficiency of the panel is always at a high.

Government Incentives

IREDA (Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency) provides soft loans at 2% to domestic users, 3% to institutional users not using accelerated depreciation and 5% to industrial/commercial users availing depreciation. The government also provides an interest subsidy, besides a 5% rebate on property tax. You can check details of all incentives offered by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under the recently launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission here. The Delhi government provides a rebate of Rs. 6,000 for every solar water heater you install.

The onus is now on us. Are we up to it? Residential complexes can take the initiative and use solar power to reduce their power consumption, avoid power cuts and cut down on electricity bills. Although the initial investment may seem high, once adopted the future benefits of solar energy to the residential complex as well as to society at large is simply immense.


This article aims at collating and providing information on using solar energy for residential complexes for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and blog readers. While ApnaComplex has taken every care to ensure the information is accurate, we suggest to please use the information in the article only as a guidance for further discussion and action with help of relevant professionals. If you need professional advise on this topic or any other property related matters, please send your request through our contact us form. You may post your questions/inputs in the Comments section below and we will try and get them answered through relevant subject matter experts.