Multifamily Leaders Use the Power of People to Meet Energy Goals

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 08, 2018

When your organization wants to save energy, the first place to start is usually a plan. But a good plan only works if the people in your organization are part of it. People are the most powerful resource for any organization wanting to meet ambitious energy efficiency goals.

As you can imagine, this is especially true in an apartment community. Two Better Buildings Challenge partners have shared recent examples of ways they have successfully included people to meet their goals – both staff and residents.

Case in point: Trinity Management -- Engaging Staff in On-Site Energy Benchmarking

Trinity Management saw that its on-site property managers were disconnected from the company’s energy reduction efforts. The solution? Get them directly involved:

  • The company asked their 3rd-party energy provider to train its managers on how the benchmarking software worked, the value of energy monitoring, and how they as managers could use it to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Since receiving the training, managers are providing ideas and suggestions for energy-saving strategies on a proactive basis.
  • Trinity successfully involved its Community Managers into its efforts to reduce energy and continues to engage with them through regular check-ins.

Case in Point: Rockford Housing Authority -- Creating a Pipeline of Green Jobs 

Rockford Housing Authority understands that reaching their 20 percent Better Buildings energy reduction goal won’t be possible without resident participation, so they took a page from the SEED pilot program to establish a resident-focused effort that aimed to encourage energy-efficient behavior and prepare residents for jobs in a new “green” workforce:

  • Residents can take classes on energy efficiency and get regular education through the monthly newsletter and RHA website.
  • Residents can also receive training on sustainable urban agriculture techniques and renewable energy technologies.
  • RHA is confident that their resident engagement efforts have not only changed the social norms around energy efficiency; they will likely expand as new partnerships for workforce development come into maturity. Enrollment in the existing offerings remains steady.

These Better Buildings Challenge partners saw the importance of engaging staff, residents, and neighbors in order to achieve ambitious energy efficiency goals. Building energy efficiency depends as much on the people inside the buildings – both living and working – as it does on the systems that make up the buildings. These Implementation Models demonstrate different ways to integrate “people power” into a larger energy efficiency strategy.

Read more about engagement strategies on the Better Buildings Solution Center.