With temperatures heating up this spring, utility costs will soon be on the rise. Water costs have been predicted to triple this year in some parts of the country and increased electric usage during warmer weather could lead to high bills for your multifamily or commercial property. Learn more about how energy management services can help your property to decrease utility costs this season.
Since many residents vacation during warmer months, it’s common for water maintenance issues such as leaky toilets, faucets, or pipes to go unnoticed and result in extremely high water bills. One resident’s leaky toilet can waste 40,000 gallons per month and could potentially cost your property thousands in extra utility charges if left unattended. In addition to these maintenance issues, the American Water Works Association has stated that water bills are set to triple this upcoming year as a result of fixing and expanding underground drinking water systems. Electric conservation should also be taken into consideration as the seasons start to shift, since many residents will choose to blast air conditioning instead of utilizing conservation techniques such as purchasing dark window coverings or making use of ceiling fans.
When residents are not responsible for their own energy usage, property owners can find themselves paying thousands of extra dollars per month in springtime and summertime utility costs. Properties that are looking to decrease these costs should consider utility submetering, an energy efficient practice designed to place responsibility for utility costs in residents’ hands. Ratio utility billing services (RUBS) are another alternative approach to allocating utility expenses that can be used when a property’s mechanical system cannot support submetering. While both of these energy efficient practices have been proven to lower operating costs, it’s important that the residents living in submetering units are educated on conservation techniques so that high utility bills won’t leave them dissatisfied with their rental experience as a whole.
Since late spring and early summer are often transitional months for renters, property owners should also remain aware of vacant unit theft, which occurs when new tenants don’t call ahead to arrange their utilities when moving into a new unit. Vacant unit theft often occurs for weeks or months at a time and can cost your organization thousands of dollars in stolen utility costs. Vacant unit cost recovery is a service provided by utility management companies that can help to invoice residents for their unpaid usage, putting this money back in the property owner’s hands