According to studies, around ten billion can be saved a year through effective management in the multifamily industry. For property management, when utility or energy is usually the second largest line item, it is surprising that many companies do not actively participate in a program of energy management. Most property managers do not know where to start, or developing a program that will yield the best energy to cost ratio. Here is a striking plan outline that can help develop a concrete energy management plan.
Contacting an Energy Expert and Improving Relationships with Utilities
If property management has already initiated some system for managing utility then they would already be in contact with an energy expert. This professional can provide some very useful advice and suggestions for improving the existing system. Local utilities also now have different types of discounts and incentive programs that are worth investigating. Many people are not aware of these programs and they could be particularly useful in the multifamily industry.
Gathering and Tracking Billing Data for Utilities
Managing cost is not possible when you do not know how much energy is being used and what you are being charged. Hence, the first step would be to gather and track invoice data of utilities. This will provide a fantastic and specific idea about energy consumption on the property, the rates being charged, and property management has the opportunity to check the accuracy of billed amount. If these processes are not possible in house, then the job could be outsourced to invoice processing companies, who can handle it more professionally.
Using Utility Management System
Simply collecting and storing data will not be of much use, unless it is analyzed for better revenue outcomes. Property management could generate a spreadsheet from the collected data and have it analyzed. However, a superior way would be to use a SaaS (Software as a Service) based system, as it would provide better visibility, control, and tools that can help in reducing costs. If there were no expert available to professionally run such a system then it would be best to leave it in the capable hands of an energy expert or an invoice-processing vendor.
Reviewing Data Regularly
Energy management process involves analyzing data from different angles and finding potential areas of saving. Property management should consider employing a person who has energy management or analytic certification. Reviewing the data professionally, at least once a week is vital in energy management. If a full-time person is not available, a professional from the utility service or invoice processing service could be called to inspect the data at regular intervals.
Some of the important utility metrics that are important to rank would be electricity, water usage, and sewer costs. However, other areas that are paramount for your property should be included as well. Whether it is common areas, apartment units or some other aspect on your portfolio, the high cost areas will yield the best opportunities for saving capital.