It’s a shame that many communities do not prioritize HOA energy efficiency. After all, energy efficiency can save a lot of money, reducing the community’s financial burden. What are some ways your HOA can conserve energy? Here are some useful recommendations.
How to Promote HOA Energy Efficiency
Promoting HOA energy efficiency can take a lot of work for many homeowners associations. It takes time and effort to do the research required. The board may have many other agenda items to deal with that require immediate attention.
Nonetheless, homeowners associations should take time to conduct studies and undertake projects that make their communities more energy efficient. Doing so can offer them savings opportunities, allowing communities to stay financially healthy. It also reduces the homeowners’ financial obligations as HOAs can lower their monthly dues.
What can your community do? Here are some ideas and projects for HOA energy efficiency your homeowners associations can consider.
1. Measure Energy Consumption
The first thing your community can do to promote energy efficiency in your HOA is to measure the neighborhood’s energy consumption. This helps the homeowners association understand their current energy consumption and where they might be overspending.
Consider installing measuring devices to see how much energy each equipment or appliance consumes. This can help the HOA narrow down what’s efficient and can be replaced. They can also use the community’s electricity and water bills to see how much energy they consume or waste.
Alternatively, homeowners associations can hire a professional energy auditor to assess HOA energy efficiency. These auditors will thoroughly inspect the community’s facilities and offer recommendations. This eliminates the guesswork for the HOA board and provides them with actionable information.
2. Limit Water Consumption
Homeowners associations will always need to use water to maintain common areas. They need to water their greenery to preserve their landscapes and use water to wash and clean facilities. However, just because the HOA needs to use water doesn’t mean they can simply use it thoughtlessly.
Limiting water consumption is a good way to make your HOA energy efficient. An easy way to do this is to time when the association waters its greenery. Consider watering gardens, shrubs, and plants in the morning to prevent quick water evaporation. Moreover, the association can even choose plants that survive without too much water.
In addition, the homeowners association should conduct regular inspections to spot potential leaks. Addressing even the smallest leak can save the HOA a lot of money. The HOA can also place trashcans in restrooms and prohibit residents from throwing waste in the toilet. Moreover, the association can also install flow restrictors on faucets to conserve water.
3. Replace Appliances With Energy-Efficient Counterparts
A community can quickly reduce HOA energy costs by replacing their appliances and equipment with energy-saving counterparts. For example, the community clubhouse or gym uses fluorescent lighting. The HOA can replace these lights with LED bulbs to limit consumption.
In addition, the HOA should buy modern inverters to replace their old appliances. This may entail an upfront cost, but it’s certainly more cost-effective in the long run. Moreover, some power companies even offer rebates for purchasing certain energy-efficient products.
4. Install Solar Panels
Homeowners associations with the budget should consider installing solar panels to power their common areas. This can save the HOA plenty of energy and money down the road. Likewise, it may cost a lot of money now, but it will produce a return on investment that can make up for it later. It’s also an important part of sustainable community management.
Remember to do your research when you’re looking for suppliers. Homeowners associations can also consult their HOA managers or professional management companies for tips or suggestions. Chances are, they have more experience when it comes to purchasing and installing solar panels.
5. Use a Solar Pool Heating System
If your HOA has a pool, consider using a solar pool heating system instead of a regular heater. It’s more cost-effective compared to gas and heat pump heaters. Moreover, it has lower operating costs, saving the HOA money in the long term. However, it may be more effective for HOAs located in sunnier areas.
6. Use Smart Technology
Smart technology can do a lot when it comes to HOA energy conservation. That’s because smart appliances are programmable and can turn on or off automatically. The association can set the conditions and leave the appliances to work their magic.
Some appliances, like lightbulbs, are even motion-activated. This eliminates the need to configure everything manually. Others even change based on context. For instance, smart thermostats may increase or lower the temperature based on the room’s current temperature.
7. Use the Landscape
Some HOAs consider landscape maintenance a low-priority task, but it can certainly help when it comes to energy efficiency. That’s because the HOA can use landscaping to cool facilities and common spaces in place of HVAC systems. Trees and shrubs can even limit drafts that may come during colder seasons.
Consider planting trees and shrubs near pools, clubhouses, and walkways to reduce heat and drafts. The community can also install a rainwater collection system to limit water consumption during hotter seasons. In addition, the HOA can use drought-resistant native plants in landscaping.
8. Establish Usage Rules
Homeowners associations with clubhouses, pools, and other facilities should establish usage rules that promote HOA energy efficiency. For example, the thermostat should be set at a certain temperature that’s higher than normal when not in use. Some associations may even limit how long certain equipment or appliances can be used. Depending on context, they may also charge fines for misuse or overuse.
The Road to a Brighter Future
HOA energy efficiency can save the homeowners association a lot of money in the long term. Making these efforts is also good for the environment and everyone else. Ultimately, taking on energy-saving projects is worthwhile and can benefit everyone in the community.
Homeowners associations may not always know where to start when it comes to energy conservation. In that case, it’s wise to seek help from a professional management company like Landmark Community Management. Give us a call at 512-569-5527 or contact us online for more details!