Save Money by Going Green: Tips for Property Managers
By adopting eco-friendly practices and making upgrades, landlords can reduce the cost of maintaining and managing their property. Below is a list of useful tips to help landlords save money by going green and increasing the efficiency of the property. Many of these require a minimal investment on the part of the landlord, while offering significant cost-savings in the long run.
1. Upgrade the property's insulation for reduced energy expenses
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, on average, 50 to 70 percent of the energy consumed in homes in the United States is spent on cooling and heating. However, property owners can reduce cooling and heating costs by upgrading their property's insulation, installing double-paned windows, and protecting against air leaks.
2. Use an online rent payment system to reduce paper waste
An online rent payment system enables landlords to reduce their consumption of paper, and it also provides added organization and faster payment processing. Landlord Station's rent payment system, for example, allows landlords to collect both one-time and monthly payments from tenants, while securely archiving tenants' rent payment information for tax requirements or other purposes.
3. Provide composting for residents to reduce trash collection fees
Food waste and back yard trimmings account for approximately 25 percent of the waste generated by the average household in the United States. Providing and encouraging composting is an easy way to reduce trash collection fees in areas where such fees are based on the amount of waste collected. The Composting Council suggests that through composting, the average U.S. home can reduce its trash waste by 12 pounds per week. Many city governments, such as San Diego, provide subsidized composting bins for local homeowners interested in backyard compost. Composted soil can be used for backyard or indoor planting or donated for other uses.
4. Install water-efficient shower heads to save water
To save on water bills, landlords can install water-efficient shower heads in the bathrooms. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), showers in the average U.S. home consume approximately 40 gallons of water a day. With water-efficient shower heads, they suggest homes can save up to 2,900 gallons of water a year. Look for shower heads with the Water Sense label to identify certified products.
5. Check for leaks in toilets, sinks, and showers
The EPA suggests that water leaks waste up to 1 trillion gallons of water per year. By resolving water leaks, caused by such things as dripping shower heads and sinks as well as leaky toilets and pipes, a home can reduce its water bill by 10 percent. Apart from routine property inspections, encourage all tenants to alert property management promptly regarding problems with the water system. Provide tenants with an easy way of reporting problems, since tenants may feel uncomfortable contacting management for non-urgent matters.
Being "green" is not only good for the environment, but it protects the property owner's bottom line as well. As these tips suggest, implementing more eco-friendly features and practices on one's property can result in reduced water, electricity, and trash collection bills and fees, as well as reduce general property management expenses.
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