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Submetering your property promotes conservation while increasing your property value. Interested in attracting residents to your newly submetered property? Utilize marketing techniques to explain the benefits of living in a submetered unit. 

In a study conducted by National Association of Residential Property Managers and GreenPropertyManagement.com, property managers responded that 45.5% of their residents are currently expressing at least some interest in renting greener properties. Although this number is less than 50%, the percentage of green minded renters has grown substantially in the past few years alone and shows no sign of stopping.

What percentage of your residents have shown interest in renting “greener properties”?

Property Manager Response Chart: What percentage of residents have shown interest in renting greener properties? Retrieved from Greenpropertymanagement.com

It’s likely that a portion of the 54.5% of residents who have not yet shown interest in renting green believe that an environmentally friendly lifestyle is a more expensive lifestyle. To combat this stereotype, marketing tactics including educational brochures, email newsletters, along with informative question and answer sessions are excellent tools to inform residents about the financial benefits of energy conservation through utility submetering. After learning that the amount residents spend in utilities is in their own hands, apprehension to rent from a submetered property may be lessened. 

When marketing your property to the 45.5% of tenants already interested in green rentals, be sure to outline all environmentally friendly measures taken by your organization in any distributed promotional materials. Greenpropertymanagement.com explains that installing low-flow showerheads, utilizing zeroVOC paints, and switching to fluorescent bulbs are a few proven methods of attracting green residents. Describe your environmentally conscious efforts in a single brochure that directs residents to online message boards, social media outlets, or their own informative website, if available, to avoid using large amounts of paper.

Online and paperless billing options should also be advertised to residents, as these billing methods are both environmentally friendly and convenient.  WaterWatch Corporation offers residents the option to pay their bills online, along with an entire resident website complete with FAQs and conservation tips.

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In June of 2010, City of Houston water rates increased by a substantial 30 to 40 percent per month, sparking outcry from city residents and officials. Unfortunately, Houston is not the only city feeling the financial strain of water rate hikes. Communities across the nation have experienced significant rate increases in recent months.

Aside from the June water rate increases in Houston, additional communities in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado have recently dealt with hefty approved increases. Rates in Phoenix, AZ increased by 28 to 50 percent in August, while rates in Steamboat Springs, CO will increase by 14 percent in January 2011. Canyon Lake, Texas water rates are proposed to increase dramatically, with a 38 percent hike in October and another 33 percent in March 2011.

 The recent water rate hikes have been met with great amounts of opposition from residents. In Canyon Lake, residents have formed coalitions to battle the steep increase in water rates. In Houston, City Councilman Mike Sullivan has addressed the media stating, “I voted against this rate increase, as I viewed it as punitive and unfair. Residential customers have nowhere else to purchase their water and the city is holding them hostage with these new rates.” 

Water rate hikes have the ability to affect communities across the United States. If your organization is concerned about the financial burden of rate increases, consider contacting WaterWatch to learn about our submetering solutions. Our national network of meter readers makes it possible for WaterWatch to service any property in the United States.

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DSIREusa.org, a website developed by the US Department of Energy, is a valuable resource for any property owner interested in applying for financial assistance while taking steps to make their multi-family or commercial property more energy efficient.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website is easy to navigate, with funding incentive programs divided by state on a large interactive map. Once clicking on your state, local loan and grant information along with state wide grant and loan information is provided. The funding listed on the website can be applied to energy efficient boilers, heat pumps, lighting, ventilation systems, building insulation, and much more. The amount of loan and grant programs available vary by state, ranging from 10 to 20 programs in states such as Delaware and Oklahoma, to over 60 incentive programs in states such as Texas and Oregon.

Once submetering your property, taking additional energy efficient measures listed on the DSIRE website can help your organization to attract and retain current residents that might be skeptical of paying for their own utility costs. Many of the loan and grant programs listed on the DSIRE website also remain open to proposals depending on the conservation goals of your organization.

Check back in each of our monthly WaterWatch Corporation newsletters for more tips on how to save some green!

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Utility Bill Manager

Interested in saving money on your organization’s energy related expenses? WaterWatch Corporation would like to announce our partnership with Utility Bill Manager, LLC. Utility Bill Manager provides a wide range of utility services that can help you to organize and reduce everyday energy expenditures.

Utility Bill Manager services include vacant unit cost recovery, energy procurement, utility invoice auditing, carbon emission reporting, and payment processing. Utility Bill Manager can also assist your organization in measuring the energy usage data necessary to apply for the energy star label.

In today’s environmentally conscious society, the focus on energy conservation and efficiency is stronger than ever. Utility Bill Manager has experience working with multifamily, industrial, commercial, retail, health care, and government agencies.  Detailed information about each of our utility services can be found on the Utility Bill Manager website.

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