Inefficient lighting, outdated HVAC systems and lack of data collection are three main reasons managers and owners of multi-family buildings overspend on energy costs.
As proudgreenbuilding.com reports, one of the easiest and most affordable things small-portfolio owners can do to make their properties more sustainable is upgrade the lighting.
Todd Feist, sustainability program manager at the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), said, “Inefficient lighting can take up a substantial part of a building’s energy profile, and upgrading to LED lighting is fairly simple and the return on investment is easy to measure and understand for a lot of people.”
Another way to save on energy costs is to measure and benchmark energy usage data. Measuring and analyzing data helps building owners and managers better understand where savings can occur.
Outdated systems such as HVACs can also put a strain on energy resources. Timing such large energy improvements so as to not displace renters and disrupt cash inflows is just as important, however.
Multifamily energy efficiency initiatives have launched in several U.S. states. In 2016, a program aimed at generating energy savings for multifamily housing units in Connecticut – called Benchmark CT – launched. The program is available for 1,600 buildings and is a partnership between the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), the Connecticut Green Bank (CGB) and WegoWise. The latter provides monitoring and analytics that reduces energy and water use in multifamily homes.
And in Maryland, utility companies awarded contracts to Energesco Solutions to provide energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to multifamily properties in service areas of the utility companies throughout the state of Maryland. Both contracts were awarded under the Commercial Multifamily Program, a newly announced energy efficiency rebate program, supporting the EmPOWER Maryland initiative.