Energy and Water Usage Influx in Multifamily Living During the Pandemic
A person's hand is trying a stream of water from a water tap

The Possibilities of a More Sustainable Building

As people are staying home more during the pandemic, multifamily faces unique challenges. There is a significant increase in electricity and water usage, which would have typically fallen on companies, organizations, and schools. These burdens weigh on residents, as well as property management and maintenance staff, as they adapt to these changes.

Electricity and water usage increase

The burden of energy costs is falling more on residents (as opposed places they may typically be at during the day). According to the Columbia Earth Institute, weekday electricity use in New York apartments increased by 7% after the stay-at-home order, while weekend use increased by 4%. Specifically for the weekday 9 AM to 5 PM window, when residents are often out of the apartment at work, school, or other activities, this electricity consumption increase in the average apartment is greater at a 23% increase.

According to New York City-based Bright Power, in April 2020, water usage jumped 21%, compared to the same period the year before. The burden of electrical and water usage costs that typically employers, schools, or other institutions take on now falls on individuals. This increase in bills further compounds the economic consequences of the pandemic on individuals (World Bank forecasts that this would be the deepest recession since World War II).

Is a more sustainable property possible? With IoT, yes. Smart energy management, which typically focuses on single-family homes, currently leaves out many multifamily residents, managers, and owners from participating, but doesn’t have to be this way. However, better bridging smart technology and energy in multifamily brings energy efficiency advantages for all, from reducing utility costs across the building to ensuring residents’ comfort. The social and economic effects of this pandemic are straining outdated water and energy practices in multifamily, and the urgency to act to change is stronger than ever.


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.


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