Utility costs represent the single largest controllable expense in a multifamily housing community, consuming 25 to 35 percent of most operating budgets. New boilers and lighting retrofits help reduce consumption, but they don’t tackle the estimated 20 percent of utility costs caused by human behaviors. Now residential property managers have a new ally in the fight to stop energy waste: the SEE The Light Property Manager’s Energy Toolkit. Created exclusively for the multifamily housing sector by energy consulting firm Kilojolts Consulting Group, this “energy manager in a box” comes bundled with all the tools, technology and training resources owners and managers need to build a culture of energy thrift among tenants and employees.
One of the first residential operators to integrate SEE The Light into its energy-management strategy is Connecticut-based Vesta Corp. Vesta develops, owns and manages affordable-housing communities throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic, the Southeast, Midwest and Texas.
“Vesta Corporation has made great strides in our energy-efficiency efforts during the past few years,” says Josh Greenblatt, Vesta’s vice president of Property Operations. “For example, we installed Connecticut’s largest residential solar hot water system at our Windham Heights property in Willimantic and replaced inefficient HVAC systems with highly efficient ones at Royal Mall Apartments in Niles, Ohio. At Mohegan Commons in Norwich, Ct., we switched from oil to natural gas-fired equipment and dramatically cut our heating and hot water bills. Now with SEE The Light, we’re asking our employees and residents to adopt new energy-efficient practices so we can tackle the behavior-based and undiscovered causes of wasteful energy usage,” concludes Greenblatt.
The Property Manager’s Energy Toolkit is the 14th in a series of market segment-specific SEE The Light Toolkits. Ranging from manufacturing and commercial office to supermarkets, restaurants and schools, each Toolkit is customized to align with the energy consumption profile of the particular market segment. Each toolkit includes energy benchmarking software, a how-to handbook, energy tips and posters, employee/occupant training materials, and employee/occupant communication templates.