If we asked you to name three things you do to save energy at your properties, would you have an answer? Many property managers ask their residents to turn off lights and take shorter showers, but you’re not able to control whether or not they do those things. We’d like to put you in control.
And don’t forget: When you save energy, you save money too. Some upgrades, like solar panels, may take a decade to pay off. Other investments may only take a year or two to turn a profit.
To get started, explore these five ways to save energy at your properties.
Install solar panels
Solar is the cheapest and most renewable source of energy on the planet. If you want to save energy (and a lot of money in the long run), solar panels are a smart option. Depending on how many properties you need to upgrade, setup can quickly reach the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Don’t let that scare you away. The U.S. Department of Energy has a solar energy calculator that helps you see the value of using solar energy at your properties. The average single family home will use a 5kW solar panel system that costs about $14,000 to install (after tax credits). On average, it takes six to nine years to recoup those costs.
Solar panels increase the value of your properties and make them less expensive to own and maintain. Also keep in mind that solar energy is an attractive feature to eco-minded renters.
Put smart thermostats in your properties
Smart thermostats offer an easy way to save energy. They can help by shutting off the A/C or heat when residents are at work. They also track energy use, so your residents can see how much energy they’re using each day. The most advanced thermostats save even more energy by auto-adjusting to the weather, humidity, building temperature, foot traffic in common areas and more.
Most likely, your residents have smartphones. Many smart thermostats come with a mobile app and connect to Wi-Fi. That means your tenants can use a simple app to control things like temperature and lighting away from home. Multiple thermostats let residents control settings throughout the unit.
Many smart thermostats are compatible with voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. This makes it even easier for residents to control settings and save energy at your properties.
If your residents use these devices to their maximum potential, you can expect to use 15% to 20% less energy per rental unit.
Install high-efficiency laundry machines
HE detergent is concentrated for use in low-water machines. If your multifamily building offers on-site laundry, HE machines will save a lot of water. Good top-loaders use as little as 13 gallons per load. Front-loaders use the least amount of water—as little as seven gallons of per load.
Switch to low-flow showerheads
Low-flow devices are sometimes misunderstood. The truth is that they provide the same water flow with less water. A standard shower head puts out about five gallons of water per minute. A low-flow shower head may only use two gallons in that time. Low-flow shower heads are inexpensive, so you can expect to reduce water use and save money right away.
Switch to low-flow toilets
Low-flow toilets use pressure-assistance to remove waste. That loud, telltale “whoosh” indicates a low-flow toilet. They save energy because toilets make up 30% of the average household’s total water use. That’s more than any other source of residential water use. Most commercial properties and highly trafficked locations like airports use these designs.
Use Yardi Breeze to communicate with tenants
Any time you save energy at your properties, tell your residents about it. Send out a newsletter or a quick email to the affected tenants. With Yardi Breeze’s email feature, it’s easier than ever to communicate maintenance progress and energy-saving upgrades.
We’d like to show you how great communication can make managing your properties easier than ever. Join a free webinar today so we can get started.