How to Reduce Costs, Increase Efficiency, and Add Property Value through Utility Management

Last modified on July 7th, 2020

If you want to maximize NOI and increase efficiency for your properties, diving deeper into your utilities is a natural place to start. After all, utilities typically represent between 10-30% of a building’s operating budget.  By bringing down costs, and by reducing the time spent on utility management, you can maximize the efficiency of your team and the value of your assets.

However, it’s difficult to improve efficiency if your portfolio’s utility spend is stored between multiple spreadsheets, or if you are using a system with limited analytics & insights. Without a view of everything in one place, it’s tough to get a full picture of where your utility spend is really going and where you have opportunities to save. Additionally, managing utility bills and invoicing is time intensive, and any mistakes in the process can result in late fees, further impacting your NOI.

With AppFolio’s new Utility Management service, you can consolidate your utility data in one place. Make the most of automated utility bill processing, converged resident billing and best in class analytics, and you’ll also save your team from managing a difficult and manual process. 

Read on to learn how you can maximize asset value, leverage utility analytics to discover new opportunities, and enhance your employees’ experience by automating utility management. 

Identify Opportunities to Save

With Utility Analytics, you can detect abnormal usage spikes, find opportunities to reduce usage and costs, and benchmark your utility costs against competitors in your area.

By benchmarking your buildings against one another and industry peers, you can quickly identify which buildings or equipment could most benefit from improvement. A large, diverse dataset can yield more accurate benchmarks. 

According to a recent study of over 35,000 buildings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, those who consistently benchmark energy performance actually save energy and reduce costs. On average, buildings in the study experienced an annual savings of 2.4%, with a total savings of 7%. 

One additional benefit of Utility Analytics is Spike tracking. By quickly detecting leaks and other costly issues, you can prevent high utility bills and save money by resolving them before they worsen.

Maximize Your Asset Value

Take a look at your portfolio’s utility history and operational processes, and you will soon uncover a solid starting point to begin establishing worthwhile savings opportunities. Reducing utility costs results in predictable increases in NOI, which you can then reinvest in your property to increase asset value.

The EPA study also examined the financial benefit of benchmarking. They determined a utility savings of 2.4% in a 500,000 square foot building for three consecutive years would translate to a cumulative energy cost savings of approximately $120,000, and an increase in asset value of over $1 million.

Enhance Your Employees’ Experience

For many property managers, managing utility bills and resident charges is a time-consuming and frustrating monthly process. But with automated utility management, you can streamline your processes around utilities by fully automating resident charges, invoice processing, vacant cost recovery, and more.

This takes the worry and hassle out of utility billing, so your staff doesn’t need to sort through a pile of bills or enter data from a spreadsheet. An automated process creates a much better experience for your team, and allows them to focus on delivering excellent service to residents and other high-level tasks rather than time-consuming manual processes.

And better yet, when your automated utility management is integrated directly with the software that you use to run the rest of your business, you won’t have to deal with data entry for utility payments — all your critical information will be in one system.

By taking advantage of these Utility Management tools, you can consolidate all of your utility data in one place, identify opportunities for savings, and provide vital context to help you uncover problem areas and prioritize investments with the highest ROI. 

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