Energy efficiency and going green continue to be focal points of property owners. While there are clearly environmental benefits to more efficient use of natural resources, there are also significant dollar savings you can realize by improving the energy efficiency of your properties.

A good first step is to have an energy audit performed by a trained professional. The cost of such an audit can usually be easily recouped by implementing a few of the recommendations it yields.

Weatherization
A common recommendation suggests a simple weatherproofing plan. One Department of Energy study estimated the average cost of such work to be $2,500. The savings from such projects were 2.2 times what was spent on weatherization.

Added Insulation
A more extensive project involves adding insulation. Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates that one third of a home’s heat can escape through non-insulated exterior walls. In a wood frame wall, loose fill and foam is normally blown into the cavities through holes that have been drilled in the exterior walls. Filling the cavity prevents heat loss and can dramatically reduce heating and cooling costs.

Window Replacement
It’s estimated that another third of a home’s total energy is lost through windows and doors. Single pane windows are least efficient, but installing double or triple pain windows increases the insulation factor significantly.

Heating And Cooling Equipment Upgrades
Older heating and cooling units can result in serious energy loss. While newer equipment has energy efficiency ratings in the high 90 percentile, older units operate in the 30-40% range. While replacing the units can be expensive, the return on investment can be relatively quick considering today’s cost of energy. There are also significant tax credits that are available to help reduce the cost of installation.

Go Paperless
This is often overlooked, but reducing your reliance on paper in managing your business is not only good for the environment but it can also significantly lower your operating costs.

By using the latest in property management software like that offered by AppFolio, you can eliminate the cost of expensive ink cartridges, pricey
bank checks, postage and stationery paper. The use of web-based technology also allows property managers to greatly increase their business productivity. In a recent survey conducted by National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and AppFolio, 48% of respondents said they use web-based property management software. Fifty percent of property managers accept online rent payments and 41% report using an owners’ portal to communicate with owners and post statements and documentation, both of which can save on the cost of paper.

Whether you implement large or small projects, there are dollars to be saved through energy efficiency initiatives.