The Link Between Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency: Reducing Costs for Multifamily Property Owners and Residents
California’s drought places water efficiency and conservation at the forefront of maintenance priorities for multifamily property owners. Rising to this challenge, property owners can reduce operating costs in both water and energy expenses. Consider how energy and water are linked together—large amounts of energy are required to heat, pump, and deliver water to your properties and residents. Installing domestic hot water controls and replacing inefficient appliances, faucets, and showerheads will not only reduce your building’s water consumption, but could also save energy. These savings translate into lower operating costs for you and reduced utility bills for your residents.
SDG&E’s Energy Update California Multifamily program offers incentives for these energy efficiency upgrades that save water and energy:
Domestic Hot Water Controls
In San Diego’s mild climate, keeping water heated and ready to pump is typically the largest component of a multifamily building’s energy budget. Installing demand controls reduces energy usage by producing hot water only on-demand. This is one of the most effective upgrade measures to significantly reduce a property’s overall energy usage.
Energy Efficient Washing Machines
According to ENERGY STAR® guidelines, replacing a clothes washer that is more than 10 years old could save you more than $137 a year. These qualified washing machines use 37 percent less energy and over 50 percent less water than conventional washers.
Energy Efficient Dishwashers
ENERGY STAR estimates that a dishwasher built before 1994 wastes more than 10 gallons of water per cycle and costs an additional $35 dollars per year in utility costs to operate compared to a new ENERGY STAR certified model.
Low-Flow Showerheads and Faucet Aerators
WaterSense, a government-run program that certifies water-saving devices, estimates that WaterSense certified showerheads are about 20 percent more efficient than standard models, saving more than 2,300 gallons per year. A simple faucet aerator is easy to install and only costs between $3 and $10 dollars but can reduce water usage from five gallons per minute to one and a half gallons per minute without any adverse effects on your residents.
When multiplied across the number of units in your multifamily portfolio, these small changes can result in significant water and energy savings — for your residents, for your operating budget, and for city and state-wide conservation efforts.
To start saving water and energy in your properties, call TRC at 1-866-352-7457
to see if your property qualifies for incentives through the Energy Upgrade California Multifamily program.
Encourage Your Residents to Conserve Water and Energy
Maximize the benefit of your efficiency upgrades by empowering your residents to join your conservation efforts. Enterprise Community Partners offers educational materials designed to engage residents in green and healthy living. Toolkits with step-by-step instructions, resident engagement cards and training resources are available to download
and use at your multifamily properties.