Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
Page added on March 9, 2017
APARTMENT prices could drop over the threat of more frequent blackouts, which can cause chaos among residents stuck in lifts and without airconditioning.
Power outages can create headaches for apartment dwellers who are left without access to lifts, or stuck inside them, when the lights go out.
It’s a problem that could start to impact property prices, according to Matt Mushalik, an adviser to the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas.
“There is no way skyscrapers will survive the coming electricity crisis,” Mr Mushalik told Domain.
“And that’s particularly when few of the existing towers ever invest in renewable energy to make up for shortfalls.”
Many high-rise apartments don’t have back-up generators and only cater for emergency and exit lighting using small batteries.
Installing a back-up would likely be very expensive and possibly cost millions.
Australians, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, are bracing for the possibility of more blackouts as the country transitions to renewable energy sources for its electricity, and climate change drives more extreme weather events.
Greville Pabast, executive chairman of property valuers and advisers WBP Property Group said the threat of increased blackouts would affect all residential property, whether that be houses or apartments.
“The major difference with high-rise apartments is the threat to safety in the event a person becomes stuck in a lift during the event,” Mr Pabast told news.com.au.
“While data doesn’t currently demonstrate a causal link between power outages and fluctuations in apartment prices, that’s not to say it couldn’t be an issue in the future should blackout frequency increase dramatically.”
If blackouts increased, Mr Pabast said there would likely be an increase in the number of new developments featuring generators and other renewable technologies to address this, with the cost reflected in property prices and through owner’s corporation fees.
“In that case, it could become a case of the ‘have’s’ and ‘have not’s’, with positive price benefits for those buildings with renewable energy technology, and negative implications for those that don’t,” he said.
But Mr Pabast said he hadn’t seen much of link yet between renewables in the home and higher property prices.
“While society and households are becoming more environmentally conscious, the cost of purchasing and implementing technologies such as solar are still high relative to potential cost savings — a cost buyers also fail to recognise when getting out the proverbial chequebook,” he said.
With demand in the property market so high at the moment, Mr Pabast said he hadn’t noticed potential buyers expressing concern over energy security.
“At present, supply shortages for many property types in Melbourne and Sydney means issues such as this, which are currently in their infancy, don’t rank too highly among the typical purchaser.”