The foundation for using energy in multifamily responsibly is resident behavior. Benchmarking is important. Data analysis is critical. But connecting resident consumption with the “on” and “off” switch moves the needle. Can apartment operators really motivate residents to conserve energy and water in their apartments and make a significant impact? Behavioral scientists say “yes.”
The concept of sustainability in today’s world is complex. Its simple definition has shifted over time, but is generally thought to be: using only what we need so as to leave enough for future generations.
The single-family housing industry has had wide success in proselytizing homeowners on the concept through the Energy Star and WaterSense brands. Unlike apartments, this market lacks split incentives, since the person funding energy saving changes or adopting energy-saving behaviors is also the person saving operating costs. A focus on quantifying consumer savings allowed the EPA’s Energy Star program to demonstrate the value of conservation for buyers. Today, Energy Star is one of the most recognized labels in the nation, claiming utility bill savings of $362 billion since its inception in 1992.
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