MG Properties Group (MGPG) – a company that specializes in the acquisition, development, rehabilitation, and management of more than 16,000 apartment homes across the West Coast – knew it could boost returns for its investors and increase cash flow by increasing efficiency and by reducing water and energy expenses. With initiatives like upgrading the quality and durability of its energy and water systems, MGPG planned to reduce utility expenses, increase net operating income, and reduce environmental impact. By implementing a variety of improvements, the company saved more than $244,000 in the first year and added nearly $5 million in increased property value. The project had a one-year payback and an ROI of 97%. Here’s how.
MGPG did not have the bandwidth within their own staff to implement the project: nobody on staff was an expert in energy and water analytics, incentives, and retrofit implementation. The firm decided to bring in Bright Power to help. Working with Bright Power was “…the perfect way for us to outsource energy management across our portfolio…at a fraction of the cost to build that capability internally,” says Lane Jorgensen, VP of investment management at MGPG.
Working with Bright Power, MGPG developed a tailored strategy:
- Target select properties for immediate high ROI retrofit opportunities;
- Identify effective upgrades;
- Seek local incentives to reduce costs.
By pinpointing 12 properties for the retrofit, MGPG knew the company could leverage economies of scale to achieve its goals in the most cost-effective way.
7 Efficiency Measures
With a plan in place, the company was able to begin the implementation of seven efficiency measures across twelve communities in Southern California. These measures included:
- Installing Domestic Hot Water (DHW) recirculation flow control;
- Installing insulated Domestic Hot Water (DHW) pipes;
- Retrofitting common area and exterior lighting with LEDs;
- Replacing apartment unit lighting with LEDs;
- Installing Energy Star washers in common area laundry rooms;
- Installing low-flow faucet aerators in apartment units;
- Using efficient showerheads in apartment units;
- Installing Variable Speed Drive (VFD) pool and spa pumps.
MGPG staff at each site were engaged to work its Bright Power to help make the installation go smoothly.
In addition to saving money on energy and water reductions, the retrofit aimed to benefit residents with improved interior lighting, more brightly lit exterior common areas, and reduced electricity and water bills.
MGPG received more than $1.1 million in incentives, nearly enough to cover the $1.3 million installation cost. Total net owner cost for the project was $252,000.
Verification and Results
MGPG had been using Bright Power’s EnergyScoreCards to monitor energy and water use, which helped the company identify the properties that would benefit most from the project. After the upgrades, MGPG is continuing to work with Bright Power to monitor and verify savings through EnergyScoreCards.
The company saved more than $244,000 in the first year and added nearly $5 million in increased property value. The project had a one-year payback and an ROI of 97%.