As a landlord, you might think it’s too difficult to make changes to your properties to reduce energy use, or to figure out what changes will really make a difference. Or maybe your tenants are responsible for their own utility bills so you don’t usually have to think about what impact your properties have.
But residential energy use has a big environmental impact. In making the energy to power American homes, 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions are emitted annually. Here in Ann Arbor, the residential sector contributes 24% of total community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.
FREE ENERGY BENCHMARKING - Sign up ends 12/31/14!
For a limited time, rental housing property owners across Washtenaw County are eligible to receive a FREE one-year subscription to the WegoWise utility benchmarking software. WegoWise is an online tool for monitoring and analyzing the water and energy use of multi-family and single-family homes. This is a first come, first serve program with a limit to the number of participating properties. Don't wait to participate! Sign up for the pilot ends December 31, 2014, or when 110 buildings have signed up for the pilot. Learn more and sign up!
Make a difference
By taking action to reduce the energy use of your properties, you are not only helping lessen their impact on the environment, but you are also helping make them more affordable for your tenants – and ultimately more marketable!
The US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has identified a number of benefits to making energy efficiency upgrades to rental properties:
- Lower your utility bills for master-metered units.
- Reduce your maintenance needs by upgrading to new HVAC systems or efficient lighting.
- Reduce tenant turnover by improving the quality of your property and the comfort of the space. Tenants will enjoy having lower utility bills, too!
- Increase the property value by being able to offer energy-efficient units.
Did you know you can get notifications from DTE on how your properties are using energy, including receiving shutoff notifications? Sign up for the Landlord Utility Manager tool with DTE.
Find out about the steps you can take – from the simple to the complex – to make your rental properties more energy efficient.
You can also find tools to get the job done, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring help.
Pay for it all
If you manage 3 or more units in the same property, you may want to consider financing your energy-related projects through Ann Arbor’s PACE program. For 1- to 4-unit properties, consider the a2energy Loan Fund for Rental Housing that offers low-interest loans of up to $8,000 per property. For larger properties that qualify as affordable housing, Fannie Mae offers refinancing options through their Green Refinance Plus program.
Federal Tax Credits
Certain ENERGY STAR products qualify for tax credits, but not all; visit the ENERGY STAR website for more information.
Incentives, rebates and offers
DTE Energy has rebates and special offers for residential customers.
And ENERGY STAR maintains a database of special offers and rebates from partners – which can be combined with other offers for extra savings!
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for sales at your local home improvement stores