While residents often pay their own utility bills, many multifamily properties offer perks such as use of common areas and paid water bills. When properties pay for energy and residents control use, it can be difficult to achieve savings. However, promoting energy conservation can help properties lower utility bills. Here are some tips to encourage your residents to save.
Increasing residents’ knowledge is the first step to encourage conservation. If you have a community newsletter, create an “energy awareness” section and provide easy to follow tips for reducing energy use. Excellent sources of information include Energy Star, the U.S. Department of Energy, PGE, and Pacific Power’s energy tips webpages. Alternately, you could create a community fact sheet and email it to residents or post it in strategic areas such as building entrances, near mailboxes, or in the laundry room.
Try pairing this type of communication strategy with an energy efficiency retrofit to brand your community as environmentally conscious and attract and retain renters.
Appeal to Social Norms
The Journal of Consumer Research performed a study seeking to learn which messaging strategy is most effective: environmental-based or social norm-based. They found that individuals responded better to messages that reminded them of other’s behavior (e.g., the majority of residents use LED bulbs). This strategy can be applied at multifamily properties by reminding residents and employees that conservation is a collective activity. We suggest creating signage appealing to social norms and expert insight, and strategically placing that signage in targeted areas to remind building occupants to conserve. Examples include:
Pair Conservation Messaging with Energy Efficiency
By pairing an energy efficiency retrofit with a targeted conservation messaging campaign, you will have an ideal strategy to reduce energy use, lower operating costs, and save money at your property. Reach out to the Oregon Multifamily Energy Program today by calling us at 503.505.6787 or emailing us. We can help you identify every opportunity for energy savings at your property.
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