How you can encourage residents to reduce energy use
While residents often pay their own utility bills, many multifamily properties offer perks such as the 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 use section and provide easy to follow tips for reducing energy use. Excellent sources of information include Energy Star, the U.S. Department of Energy, and PG&E’s energy tips pages. Another idea could be a community fact sheet emailed to residents or placed in strategic areas.
Pairing this type of communication strategy with an energy efficiency retrofit can also help you brand your community as environmentally conscious and help attract and retain renters.
Appeal to Social Norms
In 2008, 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 of other’s behavior (e.g., “the majority of guests reuse their towels”).
So, how could you apply this strategy to your multifamily property? Remind your audience that conservation is a collective activity. We suggest creating signage appealing to social norms and expert insight, and strategically placing signage in targeted areas to remind residents 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 Multifamily Upgrade Program today, and we can help you identify every opportunity for savings at your property.