Pure Energy: Saving Millions on Apartment Operating Costs

Take a quick guess at what the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spends 13 percent of its annual agency budget on. Here's a hint: the line item adds up to $6.4 billion. Give up? That's the amount the agency foots for operating costs attributable to energy and water consumption at the nation's public and assisted housing communities.

If you think that's a lot, consider that the annual operating cost of energy and water consumption at all U.S. multifamily properties is an incredible $22 billion. That's according to Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits, a study of 236 multifamily properties that underwent energy and water retrofit projects from 2009 to 2012.

Want some more stats? According to the Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits study:

  • Properties conducting energy retrofits reduced whole building energy consumption by 18%, achieving estimated savings of $213 per unit per year, a total of $3.1 million across the study portfolio.
  • Water consumption was further reduced at retrofit properties by 26%, resulting in a $95 per unit per year savings, equating to approximately $1.2 million per year across the study portfolio.
  • Over 25% of current energy and water waste is the result of inefficiencies that could be corrected by the expansion of efficiency upgrade programs for multifamily housing.


The numbers represent compelling cost saving and new income areas for multifamily asset managers, and are sure to be discussed during Maximize: 2014 Multifamily Asset Management Conference, October 13-15 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. In addition to sessions on utility expense management, Maximize will feature Getting to Zero: The Implications of a Case Study in Reducing Net Energy Usage to Zero featuring DPR Construction Director of Sustainability Ted van der Linden.

The study authors conclude that by improving energy and water efficiency, multifamily communities will not only use fewer resources, but will cost less to operate. Those two value propositions couldn't be a better fit for Maximize, the hybrid of the successful Apartment Revenue Management and NAA Green Conferences.

If maximizing revenue and income while minimizing consumption of resources sounds like an interesting apartment asset management conversation to you, we encourage you to register today to join us at Maximize, October 13-15, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, the industry's first event dedicated to all things asset management. We'll leave the (compact fluorescent) lights on for you.