Written by: Johnathon Fata
Waypoint is proud to work with Virtú Investments on their GreenLiving energy efficiency and sustainability program for multifamily properties. Working together, the GreenLiving program has helped save energy, water and money for both Virtú and their residents. The physical improvements to energy- and water-consuming fixtures and appliances have helped to drive significant savings throughout their portfolio. However, the program does not stop at just making physical upgrades. Waypoint and Virtú are committed to driving energy and water savings through educating residents on ways that they can also help save energy and water through behavioral changes in their everyday lives.
Waypoint helps educate residents on ways that they can help reduce their energy and water consumption, decrease their footprint and save on their utility bills is various ways. One of these is through a quarterly GreenLiving newsletter which is distributed electronically to all residents at GreenLiving properties. The newsletter provides background on what the GreenLiving program is (for new residents) in order to show Virtú’s commitment to driving energy and water savings by investing in the units and common areas. Additionally, the newsletter contains information and tips on how residents can further drive energy and water reductions beyond the physical improvements by making small changes to the ways in which they use energy and water. The newsletter is tailored to seasonal changes and below are some examples of tips from our winter newsletter:
Purchase LED holiday lights – Compared to traditional incandescent lights, LED holiday lights use up to 90% less electricity. To offset the cost of purchasing new lights, many retailers offer store credit for LED lights when you trade in old incandescent lights as well.
Turn holiday lights off – To help further reduce electricity bills during the holidays, be sure to turn off holiday (and house) lights during the day, at night, and early morning hours. A simple plug-in timer is a great way to accomplish this with minimal effort. This measure also helps reduce the risk of fire caused by hot lights on Christmas trees and other holiday decorations.
Set heater at 68°F – Set your thermostat to 68°F when you’re home. You can save even more money by reducing the temperature at night time or when not at home. Late December is one of the largest energy usage times of the year since many people are taking time off of work and are at home more. Paying extra attention to the temperature set point will help save on holiday heating costs.
Ceiling fan rotation – If you have a ceiling fan with an option for the direction of blade rotation, reverse it during the winter time so that it pulls air up and helps circulate the warm air trapped near the ceiling towards the living area, reducing heating requirements.
In addition to the quarterly newsletter, the GreenLiving program engages residents and prospective residents through signage in the leasing office and unit models, a GreenLiving move-in letter, various giveaways such as reusable shopping bags and water bottles, incentive programs for residents who reduce their energy consumption, and other avenues.
Waypoint looks forward to continuing to engage residents at GreenLiving properties to continue to drive energy and water savings beyond the physical upgrades and to expand our resident engagement programs over time. While these recommendations are targeted specifically at multifamily residents, they certainly apply to homes as well – feel free to consider incorporating such energy efficiency tips into your own home as well!