Power Surge: Fueling Your Bottom Line with Energy Efficiencies

By Jewell, Mark T. | Journal of Property Management, May 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Power Surge: Fueling Your Bottom Line with Energy Efficiencies

Jewell, Mark T., Journal of Property Management

Nearly 90 percent of the estimated five million commercial buildings in the United States are more than 15 years old. Consequently, during construction of these buildings, builders could not take advantage of the energy-efficient technologies now standard.

Today, builders, owners and property managers are paying close attention to the kind of value they can obtain by implementing energy-efficient strategies. They're considering everything from water conservation and wind energy to electrical product upgrades and solar panels. The Hines organization is one real estate firm committed to conserving energy in its owned and managed office buildings. Recently, it was recognized by Energy Star [R] for outstanding energy conservation in nine of its Houston-based office buildings and 33 properties in 18 other cities.

"When the Hines organization committed itself to energy conservation, we immediately set out to be a leader," said Jeffrey C. Hines, president of Hines.

Companies like Hines are recognizing that specific strategies must be developed and implemented to combat the growing demand for energy. According to the Energy Information Agency's Annual Outlook for 2002, higher demand for energy and increased production will characterize the United States' future.

The report predicts continued growth in electricity use through 2020. Growth rates are expected to reach 1.7 percent per year in the residential sector. In the commercial and industrial sectors, annual growth rates should reach 2.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2020.

Water Conservation

However, electricity isn't the only energy resource at issue. For many owners and managers of residential properties, water conservation has become a top priority. In order to encourage residents to use less water, an increasing number of owners are implementing water billing programs.

Robert Sherman, president of National Water and Power, noted that water usage programs can result in substantial savings. He estimated water consumption is reduced by 5 percent when using the Resident Utility Billing System (RUBS) method, while the sub-metering of individual residential units results in water usage reduction of between 20 and 30 percent.

"Water costs have nearly doubled in the last ten years, Sherman explained. "As the population increases, we need to conserve the water we have and place less pressure on our current water facilities."

Property managers and owners have begun to track increases in water costs and surges of use. "They're checking for leaks under the pool or around the building as they become aware that these are costs that can be reduced or controlled," Sherman said.

Given this emphasis on energy conservation, apartment renters are becoming more accepting of resident-based water billing systems. Sherman noted that "more than 2.5 million apartment units are involved in passing costs on to the resident separately from rent. Billing formulas based on square footage or unit occupancy are more equitable to the resident. Sub-metering allows renters to pay only for their portion of water usage.

In addition to water, energy experts are also pointing to alternative resources such as solar and wind energy. Thanks to rising natural gas prices, there is increasing demand for wind energy. The cost of energy from larger electrical output wind turbines used in utility-interconnected or wind farm applications has dropped from more than $1 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 1978 to less than $0.05 per kWh in 1998. Prices are projected to plummet to $0.025 per kWh when new large wind plants come online this year. In the past five years, the hardware costs of these wind turbines have dropped below $800 per installed kilowatt, under pricing the capital costs of almost every other type of power plant.

Examining Energy Efficiencies

Whatever the source of energy, one fact remains.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Power Surge: Fueling Your Bottom Line with Energy Efficiencies


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?