You can reduce your operating costs, increase your properties' asset value, and meet the demands of tenants for environmentally responsible housing options. How? By making your multifamily housing properties more energy efficient.
ENERGY STAR has the tools and resources to help you save energy and money, while tracking your carbon footprint.
Ready to save 30% on your utility bills?
According to a widely cited study, energy efficiency improvements of 30% are both achievable and cost-effective across the multifamily housing sector. If all such measures were undertaken, this could drive annual utility savings of $9 billion by 2020.
And with the launch of the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for multifamily properties, you can now earn ENERGY STAR certification recognizing the superior energy performance of your properties.
Compare your property to similar properties nationwide
The first step to managing energy use is to take stock of how your property is currently performing. To find out if your property is using a lot or a little energy compared to others, benchmark it in Portfolio Manager, EPA’s free online energy management tool. Once you've entered your energy bills for the past 12 months and some information about your property, Portfolio Manager will return a host of metrics about your property's performance.
If you have 12 months of whole-property data and more than 20 units, you can also receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score, which compares your property to similar properties nationwide. Even if you don't get an ENERGY STAR score, you can still compare your property to other similar properties within your portfolio or track your performance over time.
Benchmarking is the first step to identifying opportunities to save energy and money.
- Information needed to receive a score for multifamily properties: First, you’ll need to collect the energy use data and property information you’ll need to input into Portfolio Manager. Note that your property must have 20 or more units to receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score. However, properties with fewer than 20 units can still realize valuable energy and cost savings from the benchmarking process and make use of all the other metrics Portfolio Manager has to offer.
- Multifamily Benchmarking FAQ: Have questions? See our FAQs.
Benchmarking tips for multifamily housing
If your multifamily property consists of multiple properties, such as a garden-style community, be sure to benchmark the entire property. See our guide on how to benchmark a campus for step-by-step instructions.
If you have other types of commercial space on your multifamily property (e.g., retail or restaurant), you should include those spaces in the gross floor area for your campus, but benchmark them according to their space type in Portfolio Manager. For other questions, visit our help desk.
Improve the energy and water performance of your multifamily property
Once you’ve benchmarked, you’ll know which properties to target for cost-saving energy-efficiency improvements. Start with low- and no-cost measures and then continue improvements with product and building system upgrades.
- Save Energy: Visit our comprehensive section on saving energy in existing buildings, which details best practices for saving energy, engaging occupants, and calculating potential energy savings. Consider the full range of ENERGY STAR and WaterSense qualified products, as well as the ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider partners who can help to identify, plan, and implement energy efficiency improvements.
- Save water: The new EPA 1 – 100 water score is available for existing multifamily properties with 20 or more units. Just like the ENERGY STAR 1 – 100 score, the water score provides a statistical evaluation of the whole property water use—including both indoor and outdoor use—normalized for weather and operation. Use it to help identify properties in your portfolio to target for improvements and find out how your properties compares to similar properties nationwide. Read more about the EPA 1 – 100 water score and learn how to generate it in Portfolio Manager. Once you’ve identified which properties to target for efficiency improvements, download water efficiency assessment tools and management guides from EPA’s WaterSense program for improving water efficiency in multifamily properties. The score was developed using data from the Fannie Mae Energy and Water Market Research Survey.
Learn from others like you
- ENERGY STAR Success Story: TIAA-CREF Multifamily Housing: Learn how TIAA-CREF saved more than $500,000 annually by reducing common area energy use by 9%.
- Energy Efficiency: A Sound Investment: On average, TIAA-CREF's portfolio is 17% more energy efficient than it was in 2007. In 2013, the company cut carbon pollution across its portfolio by approximately 54,500 metric tons through improved efficiencies, which lowered utility costs by an estimated $15 million. Learn their tips for success.
- City of Seattle Energy Benchmarking Success Stories: Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment has developed a series of case studies on properties that have successfully cut waste and improved performance by overcoming barriers to making energy-saving improvements.
Find policies and programs to increase efficiency for low-income households
- ENERGY STAR for Affordable Housing: ENERGY STAR offers affordable housing stakeholders proven, turn-key solutions that can be deployed to cost-effectively increase energy efficiency for low-income households.
Earn ENERGY STAR recognition
If your property receives an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, it may be eligible to be certified as ENERGY STAR, meaning it’s among the nation’s top energy performers.
- Earn the ENERGY STAR for your existing property.
Are you constructing a new multifamily property? Whether it’s low-, mid-, or high-rise, you can earn the ENERGY STAR to show future buyers and residents that your property is built to save energy, save money, and meet the growing demand for sustainable infrastructure.
- ENERGY STAR new homes program, including low- and mid-rise multifamily properties
- ENERGY STAR certified multifamily high rise buildings program