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Energy Efficiency in Multi-Family Housing Communities

December 9, 2016

 

 

Energy efficiency is one of the most required building criteria for a sustainable society. Achieving energy efficiency in multi-family housing communities has been a challenge for a long time because of the difficulty in controlling energy expenditure and lack of supporting facilities that are necessary for energy conservation. Lack of a systematic approach towards energy conservation is another significant problem in the building management sector. Here is a list of three simple steps a multifamily housing management can do, to make their community energy efficient.

 

Step 1: Know, observe and understand your energy expenses

 

To conserve, you need to observe. To simply observe the trends in energy and other utility expenses is the beginning step to understanding energy loss. May it be simply looking at the energy bills or observing the trends of utility expenses, both can help you build curiosity in energy efficiency. To have a strong intention to save energy is the first step towards creating a sustainable society.

 

Step 2: Benchmarking energy expense

 

Now that you know how much you spend on electricity, gas or water, it is important to know if you are spending the right amount. What is the right amount to spend on utilities? Are your peer communities spending far lesser than you are? It is necessary to find out where you stand on the ladder to sustainability. Tenants prefer to believe word of mouth advertising and high utility bills can also create mistrust on your realty group.

 

Benchmarking your utility expenses against similar buildings in the neighborhood can help in giving you an estimate of your position. Continuous trend observation can give you a clear picture of where you need to concentrate on achieving energy efficiency. Several applications and software are available online to help you do energy benchmarking. ENERGY STAR is an application offered by the EPA to help communities benchmark their energy expenses against other similar buildings countrywide. It also offers an ENERGY STAR score and certification for energy efficient buildings after a series of critical analysis.

 

There are many other tools that will help you automate the process of energy benchmarking and energy management. These tools not only help you analyze your utility expenses but also provide technical assistance to improve efficiency. Some of these tools pair up with ENERGY STAR Portfolio manager to help you achieve a certification.

 

Step 3: Make an energy plan

 

You have a management system and all the date analyzed. You know where you lack. Making an energy plan is something unique that you uniquely establish for your housing community. This can make you stand apart from any other housing community in the society. Different realtors follow different methods to do this. You may want to set a target and announce to your residents to save energy and award them accordingly. Or you may consider updating your heater system to increase efficiency. Decisions often depend on the profit-conservation trade-offs or the sustainability motives of the community. This is an on-going process that benefits buildings in the long run and also increases the overall value of the housing community.

 

A building with a functional energy management system always stands apart from regular buildings. They are designated as smart buildings in the society and perceived as a responsible community by tenants.  Making sustainable decisions not only improve the efficiency of your building but also display the responsibility you show towards environment!

 

Energy efficiency is one of the most required building criteria for a sustainable society. Achieving energy efficiency in multi-family housing communities has been a challenge for a long time because of the difficulty in controlling energy expenditure and lack of supporting facilities that are necessary for energy conservation. Lack of a systematic approach towards energy conservation is another significant problem in the building management sector. Here is a list of three simple steps a multifamily housing management can do, to make their community energy efficient.

 

 

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