I first heard the term “California energy crisis” sometime in the summer of 2000. I watched the PBS specials, saw the ABC News reports, and read the headlines in the newspapers and magazines declaring impending doom as the state witnessed rolling blackouts. My point is, we’ve been facing tough times for a while here in the Golden State when it comes to energy use, and while there aren’t many bright sides to the story, it did have a lasting effect: a greater desire across the state to consume less energy. And perhaps even more so: a desire to spend less of our money on energy.
Enter the world we live in today and the energy efficiency industry that came with it.
Lucky for you, this industry goes hand-in-hand with the business of owning a multifamily building in San Diego. It’s important that you stay at the forefront of new measures to save energy, reduce water usage, and generally lower your building’s carbon footprint. And the incentive to “go green” is as beneficial to your renters as it is to you. Most tenants in San Diego want an energy-efficient home and offering them greener options will encourage them to stick around longer. This adds up to more money in your pocket. And in case you think making the necessary upgrades is cost-prohibitive, you should know that a number of organizations are ready and waiting to help you out.
Lower Energy Bills Keep Tenants Around
There are around 18 million apartments, condos, and other multi-unit dwellings in the United States and in 2009, the tenants in those buildings spent a collective $22 billion on energy. What we’re learning now thanks to years of research is, if best-practice utility efficiency programs were expanded nationwide and put into place, this country could see a $3.4 billion a year benefit in energy savings. And these are savings that get passed on to your tenants.
It’s been calculated that 1-in-4 renters spend half their pay on rent and utilities, a stat that was unimaginable just a decade ago. New buildings are commonly using smart meters these days, which allows individual apartments to measure energy use, and with that comes the opportunity to inform future renters that they can save big when paying for water and electricity.
Not only is that a huge benefit to your tenants, but the report from the ACEE confirms that energy-efficient investments reduce tenant turnover and related costs by providing them with lower utility bills and a more comfortable space. With the average electric bill in California costing between $80 and $90 a month, investing in energy efficiency, which can cut electricity bills in your building by 50 to 90%, your tenants will see a direct savings. And any move that boosts tenant loyalty is a win for you.
Take Advantage of Incentives
Since upgrading your property isn’t cheap, you should consider some of the multiple incentives available to help defray the costs and maximize your ROI:
The Energy Upgrade California Multifamily Program
San Diego County offers technical consultation and cash incentives to help upgrade your multifamily property for energy efficiency. Some of the benefits are technical assistance and others offer monetary compensation ranging from $550 to $1500 per unit.
Other Available Incentives
- Multiple rebates from SDG&E for various energy-efficient appliances.
- Various tax credits available through the IRS for upgrades such as solar energy systems and more efficient heating systems.
- A $500 per unit rebate for the installation of Central System Natural Gas Water Heaters.
- $50 cash back per appliance for upgrading to energy-efficient clothes washers.
- $50 cash back per appliance for upgrading to energy-efficient refrigerators.
- $15/unit rebate for installation of low-flow showerheads.
- $25/fixture rebate for installation of Energy Star fluorescent fixtures.
The list goes on and on and the savings total into the thousands. But because there are so many options, you may need some help…
How REIG Can Help
If you aren’t sure which upgrades make sense for you, REIG’s experts can help you choose the right upgrades and plan the renovations from start to finish. We can handle every facet of the project and we know how to communicate with tenants in order to reduce inconveniences. Our track record of finishing a project on time and on budget speaks for itself and our ability to handle large volume projects makes us one of the most trusted names in Southern California. Let us handle the process from conception to completion. Contact us today and we can help you make your property as energy efficient as possible.