With rising energy costs and a technological revolution, there are no excuses left for not “greening up.” This includes saving energy with cutting-edge products precisely for multi-family buildings. Green building and sustainability are two trends that have been around for a long time. Green building first emerged in the 1990s, but it started getting a lot of attention 10 years later. Now, sustainability is a hot topic for everyone, including renters and property managers.
More than 38 million Americans live in buildings with five or more households. This means there is a lot of opportunity to improve the energy efficiency in these buildings. Going green is both something tenants want and helps make the property more valuable. These are reasons why it's important for communities to make upgrades that improve energy efficiency. In fact, it’s time buildings become more sustainable or lose out to the competition. Still, not every building owner has enough money to change everything. But there are things that you can do to save money for both the owner and the people living in the building. You can utilize green retrofits and reduce energy consumption.
WHAT IS GREEN RETROFITTING?
Green retrofits are changes in a building that make it more energy efficient. They can do this for multi-family businesses (like apartments) too. The improvements are tailored to the building's specific needs. For example, you can change all the light bulbs in your building to LEDs. This will make your property more energy efficient. Going green will also make the people in the building much happier. It will also help reduce how much a building affects the environment.
Middle class families pay roughly 5-10% of their household income on utility costs. Low-income families spend about 20% on utility costs- and the costs are rising! The residential sector is responsible for 20% of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. Making multi-family buildings more energy efficient is an important way to fight global warming!
Why Retrofit your property?
Higher Net Operating Income
Lower O&M costs
Higher occupancy rate
Less resident turnover
Safer, more comfortable housing for residents
Property owners with older buildings often have a hard time competing with newer buildings. But these types of buildings can still make money. The key is finding the right upgrades. Invest in your property's improvement with lighting, water and energy conservation measures. Start by changing all of your old light bulbs to LED bulbs. Then, make some upgrades to your water and HVAC systems. This will help the environment and help your property value. It will also cost less to operate and maintain because you won't need to use as much. From there, install insulation and more energy-efficient windows. For old properties, it pays to make improvements. Even if they weren't initially designed for energy efficiency. That is why green retrofits are so awesome!
You must do upgrades that cost a lot of money, but you should do some less-expensive ones too.
- Ditch the incandescent bulbs and switch to energy-efficient lighting, such as LED lamps.
- Install energy-efficiency appliances and HVAC. Investing in the right appliances will help you use less energy and save money. More importantly, these will create the energy-efficient home eco-conscious renters seek.
- Caulk and insulate exterior windows and doors. This will not only help with heating and cooling costs but will also greatly reduce sound transfer between spaces.
- Refresh interiors with eco-friendly paints with low or no VOC emissions. Indoor air quality was not a big topic before but now it is. It will continue to be important even after the pandemic ends.
Think about your common areas or rooms where people can work. A recent study found that 70% of workers around the world worked remotely at least one day a week pre-pandemic. Now, that same percentage of people are working from home 2-3 days a week. So more people are looking for places to live where they have reliable workspaces as well.
Utility bills are expensive. They can sometimes be hard to pay. But there are ways you can help your renters save money by being environmentally conscious. Upgrades to your property will reduce the amount of energy used by everyone who lives there. If you replace an old thermostat with a programmable one, your tenants can save $180 every year.
The exact return on these practices varies according to each property. But the fact is, most renters care about sustainability. Younger generations want to live in apartments that are environmentally friendly. They care about their carbon footprint. Sustainable design and green building is important for apartment communities. People are willing to pay more for apartments that are environmentally friendly. This means that you should focus on what eco-friendly features you can add. That way, people will want to live there and people who already live there will stay.
Do some research for a Green Loan Program! Property managers should find out the rebates and incentives available for improving their efficiency. They can take advantage of a lot of these things to help pay for upgrades like lighting, water, and HVAC systems.
At Green Property Advisors, we can help you get the most savings for your property. GPA provides water and HVAC upgrades in addition to our LED Lighting Solutions. We will help you in each step of the process from start to finish. Our focus is the environment and your best interest.
Not sure where to start? Give us a call TODAY and speak with one of our GREEN experts!