You've likely heard the term "going green" and why it's good for the environment. But what about the dollars and cents aspect? There are any number of reasons why building and business owners should invest in energy-efficient upgrades in their multi-family properties.
First, bear in mind how much LESS efficient older structures and related appliances and systems are compared to newer ones. Let's take the example of a Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning System (HVAC) system on but one of your properties. Older buildings often have older HVAC systems with Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings of only 6-11. Conversely, a new building, or one with an upgraded HVAC system, has a SEER rating of 15-20 - or more. And energy savings = cost savings.
* As an advertising tool. Being seen as a developer interested in "going green" will reap dividends as you'll be seen as being environmentally friendly - promoting the environment while lowering energy bills for renters at the same time! This will make your properties more desirable, especially for the younger set.
The caveat here is practicing what you preach. Green marketing won't work unless your organization is committed to protecting the environment. The last thing you want is a connect between what your brand says and what you actually do. If you follow the other bullet points in this article, you'll be well on your way!
* Differentiating yourself from your competitors. Because going green costs more at first, you can be rest assured that not every business developer will be willing to make a green commitment. But doing so will pay off in the long run. Appraised value of your property, for instance, can be expected to double by installing SMART technology that improves energy efficiency. Going green makes a lot of "cents".
* Increasing the bottom line of your properties. Homeowners know that remodeling - such as new siding, roof, etc. - will increase the value of their home. It's like that with developers, too! As noted earlier, energy-efficient upgrades can easily mean add double the cost of the upgrade to the value of your property.
* Saving renters' money. Installing energy-efficient HVAC systems, lights, water heaters, etc. on your premises will save renters in monthly expenses. A residence with energy-efficient upgrades can realize a 30 percent savings - or roughly $100 to $150 - in a single month. Renters can save a lot of money pretty quickly!
* Extending the life of different systems (lights, water, AC) with smart thinking technology to operate more efficiently. Efficient appliances not only cost less to run, but they also last longer. Consider the example of a simple LED light bulb. A typical LED light will last 1,500 operating days, or almost five years. Can your incandescent bulb say the same thing? And if a single LED light can last that long, how much longer can much costlier systems be expected to operate?
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why investing in energy-efficiency upgrades in multi-family properties makes a lot of "cents" for any developer or investor. What are you waiting for?
Will Carson is a licensed general contractor and green building expert engineer with the Lake Wales, FL-based Natural Air E-Controls, Inc. (www.naturalair.com). Natural Air E-Controls, Inc. designs and builds HVAC control systems that enable the building's HVAC equipment to provide fresh air and remove pollutants by taking in outdoor air in amounts needed to improve indoor air quality while saving on heating and cooling bills.
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