With utility costs continuing to climb while rents and unit demand are dropping, the best way to improve your bottom line is to implement a ratio utility billing system (RUBS), an inexpensive and easy way to make tenants financially responsible for their usage and incentivize conservation.
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Winter is coming and there is no better time to start saving than now! We have officially closed the door on summer and with the holiday season upon us, it is time to begin fall cleaning and some energy saving winterization. No one wants to encounter the headache of a frozen pipeline or outrageous heating bill! So we at Livable are here to help you be more proactive about saving money and energy while avoiding headaches. To help you prepare for the upcoming season without mishaps or unnecessary expense, check out our top winterization tips to get you started and keep your residents happy and your property - and bottom line - healthy.
Improve your insulation. Cold air creeps into homes in small spaces, but filling those tiny cracks makes a big impact on your heating costs. Do a check up on the insulation in your windows, attic and basement to ensure you’re not overspending on heating costs to keep your tenants warm. Block the air out before it can get in and your heating costs will be much more manageable! Check out these tips from Popular Mechanics for additional ideas on winterizing windows.
Change the furnace filter. Swapping out your furnace filter on a monthly basis during the cold months is a simple, but highly effective means of saving money and energy. Procrastination on this simple chore may only be delaying the inevitable and potentially causing damage to your furnace at an expensive and burdensome cost.
Disconnect your outdoor hydraulic systems. Be it a garden hose, sprinkler or your AC unit, be sure to disconnect and drain your watering systems to prevent lines freezing overnight. These tasks are simple, but easily put off. Get them done early this fall to avoid a frozen nightmare.
Have your roof and gutters checked. Prevent winter-related damage to your property by having your roof and gutters routinely checked and patched when necessary. A loose shingle or cracked gutter may have a larger impact than meets the eye. Regularly checking these exterior parts of your home can save an enormous amount of stress when tended to early and often.
Change your outlet covers. This one may surprise you, but cracked and old outlet plates are not only unappealing to your renters, but can leak small amounts of air. Avoid an unnecessary surge to your heating costs by maintaining clean and undamaged covers on outlets and light switch plates. Routinely replacing outlet covers is a simple way to ensure your property is airtight and winter ready.
Check interior pipes and plumbing fixtures. Cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and even burst, especially when residents are traveling over winter holidays and school breaks. Do any of your pipes need insulation? Check for possible leaks that can become big problems in cold weather. And even though toilet flaps aren’t a seasonal issue, this is a great time to check them to avoid costly leaks later. That includes radiators!
At Livable, we are all about offsetting costs and helping you save money and energy! So let’s make this winter season a warmer and more efficient one! By implementing these good practices early and often, you can enjoy the winter season knowing your properties are safe, secure and efficient. Want to know more about how you can make a positive impact for your properties and the environment? For additional winterization tips and information, visit Direct Energy.
Last month, we told you about the great investment incentive tax credits the Inflation Reduction Act offers investment owners of rental properties. Before the IRA was passed, those tax credits were only offered to homeowners who lived in the property they upgraded with solar, wind or other renewable energy. It's a huge new benefit for Housing Providers! But the IRA, the single largest government investment in clean energy, goes much further to promote the widespread use of renewable energy, electric vehicles and other tactics to conserve our natural resources.
The Inflation Reduction Act, also known as the IRA, includes great news for multifamily housing providers! While residential tax credits were available to homeowners who installed solar panels or invested in other forms of renewable energy, rental property owners were excluded from those credits unless the owner lived onsite. The IRA now offers investment Housing Providers the same credits – up to 30% of the price! – that owners who occupy housing have been able to take advantage of for years.
At Livable, our livelihood is power and utilities, so, of course, we are big on how conservation and the wise use of our resources can counteract worrisome trends such as climate change. This global phenomenon has already impacted us in California with the now-continuous threat of drought and wildfires and will only get worse if we don’t make energy conservation a priority.