There are countless exciting innovations relevant to energy management. But, as these technologies and practices are often catered to single family owners, this leaves out multifamily residents, managers, and owners from participating. There are “one-off” solutions, like smart light bulbs, that a resident could install if they wanted. Some IoT trends attempt to translate the single family model to multifamily with limited impact (like resident unit based network hubs, which are not only inefficient but also pose major security concerns). However, if the solution is not incorporated into a platform or fleet management, this is a short term solution that cannot be future-proofed and will create more costs later on. Multifamily portfolio owners must look for platforms that can be adopted then expanded. The right solutions are designed specifically for multifamily and will decrease operating expenses as well as send a strong message to sustainability-focused residents.
To best harness the energy innovations with a powerful return on investment, owners must be aware of these three areas:
1. Energy incentives: Single family home owners are largely eligible to receive energy rebates for the device and installation of smart energy devices. Though multifamily stakeholders (including residents, managers, and owners) may not yet have the same availability, around 10% of U.S. regions now offer multifamily residential smart device energy incentives, up from about 1% a few years ago (for example: Puget Sound Energy, Austin Energy provide incentives). This rapidly growing practice is the first place to look into for smart energy incentives, rebates, and financing options. Don’t miss out!
2. ENERGY STAR® differentiation: ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, which makes it easier for consumers and businesses to see that a product meets a certain level of efficiency performance. As a highly recognized credible logo, the certification signals that the organization or product reliably reduces energy consumption and increases savings. This eliminates consumer confusion so they can take action to choose an ENERGY STAR certified apartment over one that isn’t. This recognition is priceless for resident recruitment and retention.
3. Installation of network: Different protocols (ex. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave) through a professionally installed network can enable multiple solutions. For example, this can support property-wide community Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth or Z-Wave-based energy management devices, like water leak sensors. This would not be possible with “sliver solutions,” like we mentioned before that depend on cellular connectivity or resident unit-based network hubs (as this wouldn’t support non-unit device control, for example, water leak sensors in amenity areas).
At STRATIS, our name originates from “Strategic Implementation of Energy Management Services,” and through our broad solutions, we are excited to come back to our original sustainability goals. To learn more, watch the original webinar online, “Energy Innovations Delivering Rapid ROI in Multifamily” at CRETech.
STRATIS®, a RealPage Company, creates smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and student housing. STRATIS is installed worldwide across the U.S., in Japan, the UK, EU, and Latin America. STRATIS now serves hospitality, retail, and small to mid-size commercial, as well. STRATIS is an Inc. Magazine “Fastest Growing Company in America” and a Top Ten Entrepreneur Magazine “Best Company in America.” STRATIS was recently acquired by RealPage to enable CommunityConnect, a more connected lifestyle, and unleash hidden yield through new revenue streams.