Monday, August 13, 2012

How Can Property Owners Improve Conservation at Their Communities?

According to the National Climatic Data Center, July 2012 was the warmest month on record for the United States. In addition, the last 12-month period has been the warmest 12-month period on record for the country. Hotter temperatures generally lead to more energy and water usage. If you’re a property owner, you may have noticed higher utility bills in recent months. Now is the time to ensure conservation efforts are in place at your community.

CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL UTILITY PROVIDER
Many local utility providers offer conservation incentives and rebates to their customers. Right now the City of Dallas is offering a free toilet replacement program  in an effort to encourage residents to upgrade to water-efficient toilets. Rocky Mountain Power offers cash incentives to business owners for efficient new construction and major renovation projects. Most utility providers will list their incentive programs online, so be sure to check out their websites.

REMIND RESIDENTS TO CHECK FOR LEAKS AND REPORT THEM IMMEDIATELY
Sometimes residents may take days to detect a leak. Once a leak is detected, it may take them even longer to report the leak to maintenance. This could be occurring for a couple reasons. If residents aren’t paying for their water usage, they really don’t have an incentive to report a leak because it’s not costing them anything. Residents may also have a hard time finding the time to report a leak if the leasing office is hard to reach.

If residents aren’t aware of the importance of leak detection, property owners could be paying higher utility bills each month just because of unreported leaky faucets. Be sure to educate your residents via newsletters, community announcements, and bulletins that reporting leaks in important. Be available to take maintenance requests and provide residents with a way to leave a request after hours, either via your website, email, or answering service. Most importantly, be sure to thank residents when they report problems.

INSTALL SUB-METERS
When residents pay for their own utility usage, they have an economic incentive to conserve. Utility usage will decrease and so will your expenses. If you partner with Conservice for sub-meter installation and utility billing, you can even track daily consumption of all your units, identify high users, detect leaks, etc.

PERFORM AN ENERGY AUDIT
When it comes to sustainability, how does your apartment community rank? Would solar panels be a big energy saver for you, or would the costs outweigh the benefits? Is your lawn-watering schedule optimized for maximum efficiency, or is water going to waste? How long would it take before you experienced a pay-off if you upgraded your community to newer, energy efficient windows? There are a lot of questions, and Conservice can help you find the answers. For an energy audit, contact service@conservice.com. 

1 comment:

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