Written by AAOA-VC
As individuals, we are growing more eco-conscious by the day, and holding ourselves accountable for our ecological footprints. Why not further educate your community while substantially reducing your property’s expenses? As a building Owner, Manager, or Board Member, don’t miss out on key steps to facilitate smarter utility use and activate collective savings. Read on and get started.
Start Small, Win Big: Simply Replace Older, Inefficient appliances.
Efficiency is about using less energy or water to get the same task done. You can help the environment and save money by working towards efficiency. An important first step to efficiency in your residential property is swapping out inefficient appliances and fixtures for more efficient ones.
Energy Star estimates that the typical household spends $1,900 each year on energy bills alone, and can save about $450 just by upgrading to efficient ENERGY STAR certified products. By replacing older, inefficient bathroom fixtures with a WaterSense labeled toilet, faucet and showerhead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that households can save $150 in utilities annually.
Educate: Consistently Share Conservation Tips
Simple behavioural adjustments by your tenants can cut down utility costs while protecting the environment. EnergySage notes that consumers can potentially save more than $50 a year by lowering the temperature they wash their clothes in by 15 degrees. 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off. By unplugging these devices, tenants can save up to $200 per year!
Equip your tenants with the knowledge that they need to start saving! You could put together and distribute a newsletter that shares conservation tips. Or, you could take advantage of the many resources available online! We dedicate a lot of time to sharing efficiency and conservation tips in our blogs and email newsletters.
Transparency: Allow Tenants to Track Usage
Let your tenants see just how much of an impact their consumption habits have! By sharing usage data with them, they’ll be able to monitor the success of their conservation efforts. They’ll also be in a better position to manage their utility usage.
Depending on the number of units, number of tenants and more, your property can generate a lot of utility data. With the right software , tracking and sharing data can be easy! You can aggregate utility costs and recovery data in one central location, and interpret utility data faster and with greater ease by making use of visual graphs and calculators.
Invest: Smart Technology Pays
Property owners can save money by making the most of smart home technology. EPA estimates that an ENERGY STAR smart thermostat, for example, can reduce your heating and cooling costs by about 8% , saving $50 per year.
Smart systems can be a low-cost investment with high reward. Livable’s smart billing platforms – many of which you can make use of whether you are billing tenants for their utilities or not – can be tailored to report alerts for potential leaks. This can save a lot of water. EPA estimates that in a year, the average family wastes enough water to do over 300 loads of laundry with, just through leaks.
Billing Efficiency: Offset Your Costs with RUBS
Currently paying your tenants’ utility bills? If that’s the case, tracking your property’s utility usage will inform you about what’s going on in your building, and help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to charge tenants for their share of utilities. Studies have shown that residents manage their utility use more carefully when they are required to pay for their share of the utilities.
With a ratio utility billing system (RUBS) you can share environmental and financial accountability with your tenants. There are strict guidelines to the implementation of RUBS. In some instances, RUBS cannot be implemented on your property. When that’s the case, you can still benefit from our alternative services that share conservation tips with your tenants while allowing them to track their utility use – all on a smart platform.
Livable is a full-service residential & commercial real estate billing partner. Focusing on bulk amenity/utility billing, our mission is to promote savings and conservation through education. Our suite of cloud services and end-to-end solutions helps to reduce monthly consumption, overall expenses and adds more money to your bottom line. To learn more, visit livable.com.
Shared from American Apartment Owners Association