Engaging On-Site Staff in Energy Benchmarking

Trinity Management, LLC (Trinity) manages a portfolio of over 7,000 residential units serving communities in Boston, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. The portfolio includes conventional rental units and condominiums, affordable housing, and mixed-use developments.    

Trinity’s leadership realized several years ago that rising utility costs were negatively impacting operating costs across portfolio-wide and began procuring electricity and gas from third parties rather than purchasing directly from utilities. Through its experience procuring a third-party energy provider, Trinity realized that electricity and gas prices were fluctuating due to factors outside its control, such as changes in the commodities market. For this reason, Trinity resolved to achieve additional cost savings by joining the Better Buildings Challenge in late 2013 and publicly committing to reducing its portfolio-wide energy consumption by 20 percent.

As a property management company, a central part of Trinity’s strategy to reduce energy consumption is to educate its property owners on the value of monitoring utility consumption for irregularities and making strategic investments in energy-efficient upgrades.

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  • Process

    Trinity hired Wegowise as a third-party firm to track utility consumption across its portfolio. Wegowise held two training sessions in 2017 for all of five of Trinity’s portfolio directors and most of the 40 property managers on their system so they could learn how to monitor monthly utility consumption and costs at their properties. In addition, Trinity prepared a quarterly utility analysis for each property manager to spur conversation about recent energy consumption and opportunities to decrease operating costs. Wegowise will continue these trainings twice a year to keep property managers up-to-date and maintain an ongoing discussion around analyzing utility data on their platform. The next step will be for property managers to use their analysis to engage facilities and maintenance workers to work on energy-saving measures.

  • Policies

    Property managers were required to attend trainings with Wegowise. All staff with access to the monitoring platform are required to view their site’s monthly utility consumption and raise abnormalities directly with Trinity Management’s account manager.

  • Outreach

    Trinity’s executive staff meet bi-weekly with Wegowise to discuss energy spikes, data integrity, and related issues. Trinity discusses any red flags with individual property managers and gives them a deadline by which they must provide context for what might be going on at their sites.

  • Tools & Resources

    Trinity Management uses Wegowise’s benchmarking platform to monitor energy usage and costs:

  • TOOLS

    There are currently no tools for this implementation model.



Community managers were disengaged from Trinity Management’s effort to reduce portfolio-wide energy consumption due to day-to-day property management responsibilities. Trinity hired a third-party benchmarking provider and trained property managers to monitor energy consumption at their sites.

ORGANIZATION TYPE

Market Rate/Affordable Housing

BARRIER

Community Managers were disengaged from Trinity Management’s effort to reduce portfolio-wide energy consumption due to day-to-day property management responsibilities

SOLUTION

Trinity hired a third-party benchmarking provider and trained property managers to monitor energy consumption at their sites.

OUTCOME

Property managers have become a driving force increasing energy efficiency on their sites by spotting abnormalities and suggesting upgrades and funding sources.