Improving Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Buildings

Improving the energy efficiency of multifamily housing is a win for everyone involved, and the impact is felt at every level. Of course, the main benefit for everyone is a reduced carbon footprint, and that can’t be overstated. It will become more and more clear that we have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce climate change. But there are many, many other benefits of energy-efficient retrofits.

Cost-effective upgrades have been shown to improve energy efficiency by 15-30% in multi-family housing, reducing costs and providing tons of additional benefits for owners and residents. Those savings — in addition to representing a reduced carbon footprint — are free to put back into the property, the community, and residents’ wallets. Working together, owners, operators, and residents create a better environment, benefitting everyone.

For Owners

For property owners, the initial, up-front costs of upgrading the energy efficiency of your property are well worth it. When dealing with large, multi-family buildings, even small changes can have a big impact on the carbon footprint of your property, with many other benefits, like the following:

Reduce operating costs

The great thing about energy-efficient upgrades is that the financial benefits build on each other, resulting in a ton of saved capital over the long haul. The initial investment is often paid back within a year, because even the smallest changes will build on each other.

For example, even focusing on common areas like entryways and hallways, upgrades like LED lighting, sealing off drafts, and upgrading the HVAC system will save money on utility bills, maintenance, and wear and tear on the system — costs that add up quickly for large properties. If the property is master-metered, the savings will add up even faster.

Those savings can be put to work

Many property owners will want to put those savings back into the property. Money that would otherwise be handed over to the utility company every month is now freed up to make other upgrades, energy-efficient or otherwise, resulting in increased overall value and tenant satisfaction, in addition to decreased tenant turnover.

Marketability of eco-friendly apartments

As climate change becomes more and more real in our daily lives, residents — especially young residents in urban areas — will increasing look to lower their carbon footprint and live in green housing. It’s the rare trend that won’t go away, so you might as well get a head start.

For Residents

Save money

Residents feel the savings as well — directly, if they’re paying for their own utilities, and indirectly in other ways. It’s important to note that 88% of multi-family tenants are renters, and renters nationwide have half the median household income as homeowners. Because of this, this group is especially vulnerable to cost increases. There’s also the benefit of avoiding future rent increases due to inflating operating costs of the building. When owners are saving money, the residents are less likely to see large rent spikes.

A more comfortable environment  

Retrofits like replacing windows and otherwise sealing drafts to reduce heat loss, brighter lighting, and new, energy efficient appliances, all create a more comfortable environment for residents while saving energy across the board.

Other services like regular disposal of large trash items properly is convenient for residents while also having benefits for owners as well. In cities with no regular pickup of trash like furniture and electronics, tenants tend to leave the items on the street for anyone to pick up, a habit that is unsightly and bothersome for property owners.

Healthier, happier lives

For residents, there’s an additional benefit to consider: improved health. Poor air quality has been shown to result in 150 million annual missed workdays nationwide, representing a lot of lost money. Well-ventilated living environments with good climate control have been proven to drastically reduce cardiac and pulmonary ailments, as well as reported anxiety and depression (source).

While energy-efficient upgrades can seem cost-prohibitive up front, for the above reasons, anyone can see that the investment is well worth it. From direct, monthly savings on utility bills, to happier, healthier residents, a more marketable and valuable property, to reduced maintenance costs, every upgrade provides benefits that are tenfold. Parakeet’s enterprise smart-apartment platform allows you to reduce energy expenses and improve operational efficacy across your properties. Parakeet allows you to manage thousands of units remotely with our web and smart phone apps. Your tenants will enjoy the added convince of smart-apartment technology and you will enjoy the improved control and automation that our platform provides. 

Get in touch with one of our knowledgable sales reps to discuss how Parakeet can help your operation.