Each year, more than $1 billion in rebates and incentives is available for you to make your income properties more energy efficient and profitable. These are available through federal and state agencies, not-for-profits, and many other sources. To gain this “free money,” you need to consider projects that are not your typical “retrofits”. These would include:
- Resident fit-outs (corporate apartments/business venues)
- Remodeling (small or large-scale)
- New constructions or add-ons
In some cases, you can gain a subsidy if the construction relates in any way to energy or water efficiency, i.e. new sewer lines. Particular rebates might even be applied after the fact.
There are different ways to obtain the information.
- Call utilities, state energy offices, relevant sources
- Commercial database
Most importantly certain mechanisms need to be in place in order to capitalize on resident retention through energy efficiency.
Know Your Properties
- Have your properties ranked according to Energy Star benchmarking; utility rates, energy intensity, anticipated holding period, and availability of money for improvement.
- Know which operating best practices have been implemented at each of your properties.
Claim Your “Free Money”
- Capture all of the rebates and other incentives you are entitled to when doing capital expense analyses or reports.
- Seek rebates for resident fit-out, remodeling, and other new construction. Do not just consider energy/water projects. Also, screen your recent capital expense report for retroactive rebates.
Make Rebate Screening a Best Practice
- Any energy-, gas-, or water-related capital expense proposal must have a rebate report attached to it. Make sure the filings are double-checked (and applied) for any additional rebates that are relevant to your project.
Find and Fund the Best Upgrades
- Decision-making should go beyond simple payback period. Consider the leases, appraised value, and other relevant factors in the approval process.
- If you have finite access to capital, fund projects that represent the highest rate of return first.