Conserving Energy in Multifamily Properties
With each passing year, environmental conservation becomes more and more important. In looking at our ecological footprint, there are a number of things we can do to reduce our energy consumption and support sustainability. Beyond that, there are many benefits to going green as a multifamily property owner. These days, renters, especially the younger generation, are attracted to eco-friendly attitudes and amenities. Being green can be a large selling point, especially in multifamily complexes. Not to mention the money you can save in the first place by going green — many eco-friendly changes end up putting more money in your pocket in the long run. This is especially true when it comes to utilities and energy usage. Conserving and modernizing utilities in your building is not only good for the planet, but is good for your wallet. Here are some great ways to promote sustainability in your energy consumption:
One of the best ways to conserve energy is to simply use less. When it comes to your own lifestyle, this seems simple enough, right? But when we’re talking about managing the lifestyles of all the renters in your multifamily complex, simple goes out the window. You can’t tell renters how much energy to use — but you can control the appliances they use that consume energy.
By replacing appliances with ones that are more energy efficient, you can reduce energy consumption across the entire condominium. This goes for everything from refrigerators, to washing machines, to lighting fixtures. While it may seem like a costly investment, take some time to calculate how much you could save in the long run by having more efficient appliances. The value in the investment, of course, depends on the state of your current appliances, so if you just got new ones last year, this probably isn’t the best way to save energy at this point.
While you can’t control how much energy tenants use, you can promote an attitude of sustainability in your complex. This can be extremely beneficial for marketing if you generally have a young renting audience. If you spread a green message throughout the building, your tenants will appreciate it. Share tips and information in common spaces that your tenants see every day to promote energy conservation. Sustainability tips and tricks also make for fantastic social media posts, blogs, and newsletters. By keeping it fresh in tenants’ minds, they will be much more likely to stay conscious of their energy usage.
On the same note, it’s always a good idea to send tenants their utility data each month, in full breakdown. By giving them a full report on their energy usage, they’ll be better equipped to cut back where necessary. You could even offer building-wide incentives for tenants to limit their energy usage; offer a reward for the unit with the lowest usage at the end of the month, or for units who keep their usage below a certain point. Of course, the biggest incentive is having your tenants pay their own utility bills, but there are pros and cons in doing so.
Going Green Means Going High-Tech
In a modern world, smart technology goes hand in hand with energy conservation. Investing in smart home systems can help to monitor and limit unnecessary energy usage in each unit, or in the building as a whole. For example, smart thermostats allow tenants to monitor their AC usage and set schedules for the cooling system, reducing cooling costs by as much as 8% per year.
Even technology like smart billing systems can have an impact on your energy bill. Using an online billing application typically gives tenants an easy way to report leaks or other repair alerts, allowing you to quickly resolve these issues. Leaks and other damages to energy systems can quickly suck up hundreds of dollars, so encouraging tenants to report damages immediately can avoid this.
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