Affordable housing can benefit the most from energy-efficient renovations. While this type of housing has a smaller budget for large-scale retrofits, the savings easily outweigh the costs.
With priorities in empowering their residents with extra resources and fundraising the next affordable community, these properties should be conscious of where they overspend their budget. Water & sewer rates are constantly rising; look towards water conservation to comfortably still offer your residents affordable rent.
An overlooked area for savings is in drips and leaks! A leaky faucet or shower can waste tens of gallons per day and thousands of gallons per year. These apartments can save on their water bills from just getting the property routinely checked for any drips and leaks. Being proactive in checking for leaks as well as teaching residents to report leaks they see will be extremely cost-saving.
Water conservation programs retrofit units with low-flow fixtures to reduce water & sewer expenses by 40% to 60%. These retrofits include low-flow faucet aerators, shower heads, and 0.8 gallons per flush efficiency toilets. Water retrofits create the quickest return on investment, and with rising national water rates, this is a good way to see savings while other properties deal with higher costs. Not only is it an environmentally friendly option, but it's a cost-effective option that will keep your affordable housing community growing. You can even market sustainability as a value add to your community.
While financing these property-wide renovations seem financially daunting, there are helpful resources like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financing, toilet rebate programs in your city, as well as companies with Shared Savings models. You can save money, improve water awareness, and invest the savings elsewhere.
Under a Shared Savings program, the water conservation company finances the retrofit service upfront and your property will repay the company back with a percentage of the savings. This model has no cost and no risk to get started as payment is contingent on getting savings. For affordable housing, this type of payment model is extremely helpful when working on a tight budget.
eConserve offers a Shared Savings program for their Retrofit Service and Toilet Replacement Service so properties like affordable housing, can focus on offering community initiatives and expanding their housing locations. We take care of benchmarking water consumption and provide you with quarterly updates on your savings.
Creating education programs on good water habits can be added to teach staff and residents to use the new technology properly and be able to maintain it well. This ensures good water efficiency for the property long term. Involved residents will become more open minded to living sustainably. As your affordable property becomes more water conscious, you can consider adding other sustainable amenities to add more value to the community.