Natural Gas Can Be A Competitive Advantage For Multifamily Developers
Installing a natural gas line may seem like an unnecessary expense, but natural gas offers many advantages, and is cheaper than electricity in the long run. Developers who forgo this alternative source of energy could be missing out on the opportunity to increase tenant satisfaction and retention with a low-cost differentiating feature.
Unlike electricity, natural gas is not a required utility for multifamily properties. But by electing to use natural gas individual meters in units, developers could save upfront costs, asset managers can increase their net operating income, and property managers can transfer the utility bill to residents while motivating them to monitor and reduce their consumption.
Washington Gas created the Multifamily Incentive Program to help lower capital expenditures for developers who choose to install individual unit natural gas meters.
“Condo and apartment projects with over four units can qualify for The Multifamily Incentive Program,” Washington Gas Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Louis Hutchinson said. “They must be within Washington Gas’ service territory and receive approval after undergoing Washington Gas’ cost-benefit life cycle evaluation.”
The amount of money a property is eligible to receive varies by project, but funds are not limited to new construction projects. Conversions and renovations to existing buildings are also eligible for the Multifamily Incentive Program. According to Hutchinson, while reimbursement amounts vary, in some cases, internal piping costs are covered completely.
Washington Gas maintains channel partnerships and relationships with manufacturers to give developers the best value. The company also has experience assisting with unit and building designs that allow developers to incorporate natural gas.
“We believe in partnering with various communities, such as the multifamily real estate development community,” Hutchinson said. “Together, we have contributed significantly to the region’s growth and the high standard of living in one of the nation’s most vibrant and diverse areas.”
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