Getting Tenants to Share Energy Data

March 5, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

apartmentThere are a number of reasons why tenants may not want multifamily building owners to have access to their utility data, according to a WegoWise blog posting. This can create a problem for building owners who want to benchmark energy usage.

One big reason tenants may not want to share data is privacy. Tenants are often concerned that landlords will use the information to somehow increase their rent, void their lease or otherwise take advantage of them, says the WegoWise post. In addition, if the landlord is requesting online access to utility data, the tenant will probably have to grant that access by providing other identifying information or by filling out a release form. The whole process may be inconvenient for the tenant who lacks incentive to get involved.

WegoWise advises building owners to educate their tenants by explaining why the data is needed. It is also helpful to reassure them that their data is only being used for energy efficiency purposes and that their sensitive information will be kept secure. In addition, they may be more amenable if they understand that retrofits and upgrades could improve their comfort and possibly reduce their energy bills.

Photo of apartment building via Shutterstock.

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