We often write about the need to go green and sustainability for the various industries for which we write insurance, including for multi-family dwellings. There are many benefits to green buildings, including attracting and retaining tenants, the ability to get higher rents, receiving local financial incentives (such as tax credits), reducing maintenance costs and water and energy bills, among others.
This year, in fact, the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) completed a study of more than 200 communities throughout the state, including 1,500 buildings and approximately 33,000 apartments, measuring the effectiveness of energy programs. The sample buildings included everything from high-rise apartments in New York City to converted historic mansions upstate. The NYSERDA wanted to see how much savings was realized from energy-reducing programs.
“We asked people to put together a customized work scope that’s going to reduce energy usage by 20% for most of the buildings,” said Lindsay Robbins, senior project manager, NYSERDA, according to an article in Multi-Housing News. “We look at energy bills one year post-construction and see if people actually got the savings they were expecting to achieve. “We’ve seen that 73% of the projects that have come through the program have hit [their] savings target. And for most projects, that was a 20% savings target. For some projects it was a 15% savings target.”
Diversity was key with varied cost-effective measures undertaken depending on the building. But there are also general measures all buildings should implement. This includes investing in improving the efficiency of a building’s heating system, which represents the lion’s share of the heating costs with energy for multi-family buildings. Also, other smaller measures may not yield high results but are a good start, such as changing the lighting in common areas to be energy-efficiency.
Smart water management is also key for multi-family dwellings. As we previously cited in our blog, according to the Irrigation Association, the average community is overwatering their grounds by about 30%. That’s a lot when you consider water scarcity and rising rates.
Fulcrum is a proud partner with the Association of Green Property Owners and Managers (AGPOM). Fulcrum provides clients with a customized industry-specific Green Property Behavioral Plan through AGPOM to help insureds with energy efficiency and other sustainable efforts. On AGPOM’s Green Resources pages You’ll find information for multi-family buildings on energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, site sustainability, and general business practices on office equipment use and helping residents go green.
Like AGPOM, Fulcrum recognizes a connection between risk and going green. As such, the “greener” an insured, the lower their premiums in Fulcrum’s Green Insurance Programs. For more information visit FulcrumPrograms.com.