It isn’t a trend or a fad: “going green” is an important step toward saving the environment for the certain catastrophe that we’re slowly moving toward. Though the statistics surrounding the depletion of resources are scary, there are some simple steps that you as a landlord can take to do your part (and to encourage your renters to do the same) .
Energy Efficiency Is Good for You and a Green Planet
If you have trouble getting into the idea of the green “movement,” consider this: making your building more eco-friendly both makes it more attractive to prospective renters by presenting yourself as a landlord who cares about the environment. It also can be used to the benefit of a tax deduction and is often actually cheaper in the long run as you’ll save on utilities usage and lower-power appliances.
The best way to begin is to develop a healthy acceptance of the fact that green energy and power aren’t going anywhere. It’s becoming the standard for devices, cars, buildings, and those without are frowned upon for thoughtless draining of limited resources. There’s almost an expectation and you want to meet those demands when your renters come to see your building… and are left wondering why you have ancient laundry facilities that waste enormous amounts of electricity and water.
Therefore, the first step is to make sure that the appliances on your property are up to date (that is, are energy efficient). Some examples include refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioning units, and water heaters. “New refrigerators consume 75 percent less energy than those produced in the late 1970s. A family replacing a 1980 vintage fridge with one that meets today’s standards will save more than $100 a year in utility costs.” The statistics are similar for most of the other appliances mentioned, too; clearly, there aren’t anything but positive reasons to purchase some of these and to install them within your units.
It’s important to remember that you aren’t only reducing your own usage when purchasing these products, but it also means that you’re “affecting the amounts of coal and oil that must be burnt in power plants to produce electricity.” If you keep your appliances and policies within the building green, you’ll help your tenants follow your example to better the planet.
Depending on which utilities you’ve included in rent, historically, you may want to consider removing some. Specifically, electricity and water. It won’t make them happy, but it will make them more accountable for how much is used (and wasted) because they’ll now be paying for what they use and (hopefully) won’t be using it as freely. Everyone needs to shoulder some responsibility within this effort and to be held accountable for the resources that they use up.
Consider the heating and cooling situation within the units. Do you have thermostats installed? If not, some of your renters may be bumping up the temperature so it’s warm when they return home, or doing the opposite in the summertime. If you install them, they can be set so that they are at a much more reasonable and less wasteful temperature when they aren’t at home.
Another enormous factor in energy use is what kind of bulbs are being used within the lighting fixtures. Look into the different kinds of bulbs and determine which works best for you and your building; compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, have been big lately because they use half of the energy of older bulbs and last much longer. Their benefits, like those of other green-minded products, vastly outweigh any concerns about their function or price.
Be a landlord who takes the initiative so that your residents will follow suit. Send out e-mails rather than wasting paper for flyers, messages, and notices. Make sure the lights and heating/cooling isn’t overused in your office. Consider online (paperless) payments and forms, if the opportunity to use them exists. You’ll save money on printing while also saving paper and appearing as someone with green interests in mind.
In the meantime, Anton Systems has you and your property in mind by offering professional consultation and software solutions that fit your needs. While you’re making your building as eco-friendly as possible, we can support your property management with training in such programs as SKYLINE and Budgetrac. Our services are offered based on your needs, so you get everything you may want or need and none of what you don’t. You want seamless integration of new appliances and efforts in your building to make it more environmentally-friendly, and we want the same for our services into your existing system.