Sunday, 21 May 2017

Maintenance fees that refute "SAVINGS"

In early May 2017 several notices were posted in common areas advising residents about a major “Exterior and Rec Center Lighting Retrofit” , that will take place in the complex from Wed. May 10 to Wed. May 17, 2017.

The thousands of Dollars invested in the project involved the replacement of regular lighting, supposedly consuming too much energy, with a new LED lighting that will “improve energy efficiency”. In other words, improved energy efficiency will mean a reduction in energy consumption, meaning a reduction in our Hydro bill.

Residents were also assured in the same notice that “It is expected that the retrofit lighting will pay for itself in under 3 years followed by ongoing savings.”  During the last 13 years I have collected a dozen notices, more or less promoting projects that guarantee savings. From the replacement of the entire lighting system in the underground parking lot, to the new toilet seats and tanks that reduced water consumption from the old 5 Liters water tank to the new 1.7 Liters.

The only problem is, maintenance fees in our building have been the subject of a 100% increase every 10 years. Can The Board or The RSO-where such savings are devised, calculated, and implemented, explain to unit owners why the more we are saving the more we are paying for maintenance fees??? According to conventional wisdom if we are truly saving, the math behind the saving should be reflected clearly in the maintenance fees. Who knows, it may well be that the “Condo Industry” does not adhere to the basic rules of conventional wisdom. 

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