Millennials, comprised of 18 – 34 year olds, represent one of the largest renting demographics. A stagnant job market, strict lending, and overwhelming student loan debt has forced Millennials to put off home ownership. Forward thinking multifamily property owners and managers are paying close attention to this cohort’s values and taking steps to better position their communities against the competition when appealing to this desirable segment of young professionals.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, Millennials want to live in a green building. With sustainability, energy efficiency, and environmental awareness among this generation’s core values, Millennials will have a significant impact on the demand for energy efficiency and green apartments — especially in the local market. They are moving to San Diego more than any other city in California. In fact, San Diego ranks third among the top ten U.S. markets for Millennials.
A full range of “green” amenities will resonate with Millennials. Simple recycling services, energy-saving lightbulbs, and water-saving measures are easy entry points for multifamily property owners and managers. But for those motivated to make long-lasting impacts to prepare their existing properties to compete against new green-building construction, additional upgrades include vinyl low-e windows, ENERGYSTAR® appliances, high-efficiency HVAC, insulation, cool roofs, domestic hot water controls, and more efficient pool equipment.
Incentives are currently available through SDG&E’s Energy Upgrade California Multifamily program to help offset the cost of installing energy efficiency upgrades. To date, many properties have made energy upgrades through the EUC MF program and received an average incentive of $623 per unit.
Energy efficiency upgrades will differentiate a property to appeal to the large demographic of prospective residents who demand green products, services, and housing. At the same time these measures will also reduce vacancy rates, turnover, and utility costs while increasing resident comfort and property values. Energy costs will continue to rise over the coming decade, and local, state, and national jurisdictions are adopting stringent building codes to satisfy energy reduction goals. Properties that take advantage of these incentives to increase whole building energy efficiency can profit from improved occupancy rates and greater asset value.