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Energy-Efficiency Programs Make Equipment Upgrades Easy For Maryland Multifamily Owners


Tenants have a list of features and amenities that they desire when looking for a potential apartment home, and energy efficiency is migrating to the top of the list. But still, building operators tend to stick with outdated, inefficient heating equipment — even long after its useful life ends — because of the high upfront costs associated with upgrading. Inefficient equipment forces owners to overspend on heating and leaves residents waiting five minutes for their showers to heat up.

Through the EmPOWER Maryland program, owners, developers, builders and property managers can take advantage of rebates on space and water heating equipment, substantially driving down the upfront costs of upgrading. With new gas equipment, building operators can lower utility costs.  

“A lot of multifamily properties are operating with outdated equipment,” Washington Gas Senior Energy Efficiency Program Specialist Monica Downs said. “Depending on the property, these rebates could mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings on the equipment itself, not to mention sizable returns on monthly bills.” 

Washington Gas offers rebates for all types of properties, including master-metered and individually metered multifamily buildings, townhomes and single-family houses. The rebates include upgrades to existing equipment and equipment in new construction projects. Washington Gas partners with developers and homebuilders throughout Maryland.

Since every property is different, Washington Gas creates custom solutions for buildings. While some properties may just need a boiler upgrade, others may be switching from a master meter to meters for individual apartments.

Washington Gas has been partnering with a 300-unit condominium development in Rockville to replace its outdated boilers. The pre-approved rebate amount for the project came to over $47K. Downs explained that this rebate is based on the projected energy savings and it went a long way toward showing the owner the benefits of upgrading. Washington Gas is currently working on custom rebate solutions for multiple other multifamily developments. 

A study from AMLI Residential found that 84% of multifamily residents said that living in a sustainable home is important to them, and 85% said that living in a sustainable home is beneficial to their health. Those psychological benefits can translate to financial gains for owners. Having greener, controllable gas equipment can mean that tenants are willing to pay higher rents. That boost in NOI can even translate to an increase in property class. 

“Regardless of the property style and meter type, Washington Gas has energy-efficiency rebates that can bring value to any project,” Downs said. 

This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and Washington Gas. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.