Energy Efficiency Upgrade Tips

Energy Efficiency Upgrade Tips for Multifamily Buildings

The Cotocon Group lists down Energy Efficiency Upgrade Tips for Multifamily Buildings


  1. Upgrade lighting

There are serious benefits to choosing more energy-efficient lighting, like LED.

Pay attention to common areas. There are several reasons this could pay off. Lights in common areas have to be on most of the time, so they likely have the highest burn time. Common areas may also be a top safety priority. Think of parking garages, stairwells, hallways, and parking lots, where residents should feel secure. Or if you have specialty or décor lighting in your lobby, you might be using incandescent or halogen bulbs. These often use the most energy and have the quickest payback.

Install occupancy sensors. Occupancy sensors can save between 15 and 30 percent on lighting costs. For multifamily properties, lighting controls will work best in low-traffic areas like office spaces, meeting rooms, or maybe even laundry rooms.


  1. Get on a lighting maintenance plan

No matter what your current lighting situation is, lighting maintenance can be a headache. Light bulbs may burn out early, you might run out of the light bulbs you need, or maybe you have an outage right before a corporate executive visit. Establishing a lighting maintenance plan can help you be proactive to these headaches, instead of reactive. A big part of this plan is understanding your priorities. How do you want to use your resources?

Group re-lamping is one strategy that will result in fewer maintenance issues, but not necessarily lower energy costs. This typically involves replacing all of the light bulbs in an area at once — regardless if they’re burned out or not.

  1. Update and maintain HVAC

Here are three benefits to upgrading your HVAC system:

  • Improved air quality
  • Improved system efficiency
  • Comfort control

Making small tweaks or upgrades to part of your HVAC system might be beneficial to your residents and to your wallet. If you’re looking to minimize your organization’s energy costs, you may want to start with HVAC for the common areas so you get an immediate bang-for-your-buck.


  1. Regulate water usage

Do you know how much electricity is used to heat water on your property? This might be a larger part of your operating cost than you think.

Implementing hot water controls can help regulate usage, while also giving tenants hot water when they need it. You can program systems to heat more water during peak times, like mornings and evenings. Maintenance on your water system is also a key part of regulating usage. A leak can be a costly but also avoidable annoyance.

  1. Educate residents

You might be surprised at the response you get by hosting energy savings meetings, especially if residents pay for their own water and energy usage. A lot of tenants are very interested in environmentally friendly living options, so this could be an easy way to add value. Did you just install a new thermostat system? Demonstrate how to use the new thermostat controls in their units. Or what about a new lighting controls system? Getting residents involved can empower them to take control of their energy usage.

Get Savvy to Measure and Verify Your Building's Emissions.