Residential

Complexes

One of the highest priorities in operating any residential complex is maintaining a quality of life for your tenants without passing on high fees for upkeep. This is precisely why the focus on low cost operations and maintenance allows residents feel better, staff to be happier and buildings that bring positive NOI, not complaints.

Another focus should be to navigate through the seemingly endless list of government inducements and grant programs that help to fund improvement projects.

A great place to start is www.dsireusa.org, one of the most concise collections of incentive programs and inducements on the web.

More often than not, funding from city, state and local initiatives can reduce the cost of the project by a significant portion. This makes it possible to receive the benefits of an efficient residential building while making tenants happy and budgets unchanged.

Homes

The small changes you make in your home can add up to huge savings each and every year. Whether you’re inclined to help the environment or lessen the utility's grip on your pocketbook, these 5 tips will help make your home more eco:vative for years to come.

For more help around the home AND the office, be sure to check out ECO:VATIVE Ideas for Your Office, Your Home, Your Life available here on our website.

Shine a Light:

Many households worry about the quality of compact fluorescent bulbs, but the plain truth is that a 25-watt CFL produces about as much light as your standard 100-watt bulb and uses only a quarter of the electricity. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average 25-watt CFL saves about 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year; which helps. But with a payback of only a month or two these little bulbs translate to big savings each and every year.

Watch for Vampires:

One of the biggest savings opportunities for your home is also the most widely overlooked. Your TV, cell phone charger, DVD player, microwave- virtually every unused device that remains plugged in- still drains electricity through what is commonly referred to as the vampire effect. Depending on the size of your home and how many plugs you have unchecked, these little spark-suckers can add hundreds of dollars to your utility bills each year. To remedy this, plug all your devices into surge protectors and turn them off when you go to sleep or leave your home. This will be sure save you money without wasting precious time.

Use Blankets Instead of the Thermostat:

In general, a two-degree reduction in you temperature setting saves about 1% in energy use. An even better idea is to check the insulation around your windows and doors to reduce the load on your furnace. Don't forget to check those heat ducts as well to make sure you're not just heating the attic or unoccupied rooms.

Use Your Daylight Hours Wisely:

Daylight-harvesting systems adjust the artificial light intensity of a room to complement the natural light that’s already there. By using products from companies like Solatube or Axis Technologies, you can save anywhere from 35 to 60% of your energy use depending on the natural light available. These systems also reduce your cooling load in the summer by reducing the heat from your lights.

Recycle:

You've heard it for years, and for good reason. The average four-person household that recycles all their newspaper, aluminum, plastic and glass could greenhouse emissions from solid waste by over 40% according to the EPA calculator. Just recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy to produce new ones, so be sure and take that extra second to place it in the blue bin.