Multifamily Energy Savings: 5 Questions to Ask
Looking to reduce costs and enhance the value of your properties? Energy efficiency upgrades can help you do both. New devices, such as LED lights and smart thermostats, are appealing to potential tenants. If you’re looking to save energy, begin by asking yourself these questions:
1. Are there fluorescent lamps or incandescent bulbs in common areas?
Cost-effective LED replacement options are available. LEDs are highly efficient and last much longer than conventional lights. LEDs also offer improved light quality, enhancing safety and visual appeal.
2. Do you frequently find lights on in empty spaces?
Even high efficiency lights still waste energy illuminating empty spaces. Occupancy or vacancy sensors can solve this problem by automatically turning lights on and off based on need. They’re especially effective in common areas with varying occupancy, such as restrooms, fitness rooms and laundry facilities.
3. Are hot water pipes properly insulated?
Water heating accounts for 18% of energy costs in multifamily buildings, and much of that goes to waste through unwanted heat loss. Pipe insulation is a simple and cost-effective measure for reducing energy loss and saving money.
4. Are water leaks fixed in a timely manner?
Water leaks can waste a significant amount of water and energy for water heating. For example, a showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons a year. Regularly inspect for leaks quickly and fix them quickly. While you’re at it, install water-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators. They’ll save water while still providing a comfortable flow.
5. Are Wi-Fi enabled thermostats installed throughout your building?
Adjusting building temperatures is the simplest and most effective way to reduce energy costs. WiFi-enabled programmable thermostats add convenience and optimize savings. They also offer advanced features, such as remote control.
You’re off to a great start, but you still don’t have all the answers. Your next step is to hire a qualified professional to conduct an energy assessment of your properties. Your auditor will inspect your buildings and target the most effective energy (and money) saving opportunities. Find a Certified Energy Auditor through the AEE Certified Professionals Directory or Building Professionals Institute (BPI).