Why Energy Efficiency is Critical to Reserve Fund Studies

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Reserve fund studies provide a great opportunity to find upgrade projects for your condo corporation that also reduce your energy costs. Here’s why energy efficiency is relevant to your condo’s reserve fund studies.

Reductions in Utility Bills in Reserve Fund Studies

As a member of your condo’s board of directors, your goal is to identify opportunities to reduce costs. When you consider energy efficiency potential when prioritizing reserve fund study recommendations, you can reduce monthly energy costs. As a result, you can substantially reduce operating costs which are impacted by gas, electricity, and water bills. You can control utility spends and in turn reduce condo owner expenses.

A Buffer for Utility Rates Increases

When you can improve the efficiency of your condo corporation’s energy usage, you create a buffer against utility rate increases. Even small, incremental increases impact your condo building. By improving energy efficiency, you decrease the dollar amount increase when hydro costs rise. Looking at an example, if you save 20% on a monthly bill through retrofits, an average $200 unit bill drops to $160. If hydro increases by 5%, you end up paying $8 more per month instead of $10 per unit. This adds up over time.

Improved ROI

When you bundle energy retrofits you reduce costs as you have shorter payback periods compared to one-off projects. So where you would traditionally wait a longer period for something like new insulation to improve results when you combine this retrofit with something with instant results like improved lighting or a new boiler, your average payback is improved and returns increase overall.

Resilient Design

Combining energy-efficient projects in your condo embraces resilient design. You can increase your capacity to become more resilient when facing change. In this case, climate change is your target. With resilient design you take a proactive approach to improve your condo corporation’s ability to react to climate change-related issues. For example, more intense storms and heat waves increase the risk for power outages in your building. By increasing roof and wall insulation, you reduce heat or cool air leakage, so should there be a power outage, condo residents remain comfortable until the issue is resolved.

The Deep Retrofit Process

Deep retrofits are key to decarbonizing Toronto’s built environment. This process takes a holistic approach, considering the whole condo building instead of looking at one-off, single repairs. By using the deep retrofit process as part of the reserve fund studies, you can maximize the benefits of repairs by combining projects. As a result, you lower your Total Cost of Building Ownership (TCBO) for condominium owners. Examples of possible merged efforts include:

  • Using sustainable materials
  • Performing regular energy audits
  • Upgrading your building envelope
  • Insulation and window upgrades
  • Reductions in GHG emissions

Your condo corporation’s deep retrofit plan helps transform a poorly built building into a high efficiency complex. In fact, you can save up to 60% in energy costs.

When you consider energy efficiency during the review of your reserve fund studies you can find opportunities to invest in energy efficient retrofits. As a result, you can reduce energy costs for your building, become more efficient by generating less maintenance work, and shrink your environmental footprint. You increase property value, while also creating a more comfortable living environment for condo residents and staff.

The condo experts at CPO Management Inc, a full-service property management company in Toronto and the GTA, has had tremendous success helping condo corporations identify energy inefficiencies during their reserve fund studies. We can implement modifications and strategies which result in cost savings for your corporation. Reach out to us today to learn more about our condo services.

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