Energy Efficiency in Your Property: Implementing Green Practices in San Ramon - Article Banner


Going green is not just a lifestyle embraced by environmentalists; it’s a smart business practice. There’s a demand for more sustainable housing, and as the cost of basic services and utilities continues to rise, just about every tenant you encounter will be appreciative of living in a home where they can save money on electric and water bills.


Check out some of the data we’ve uncovered that you may find surprising: 


  • According to the National Academy of Sciences, residential energy consumption accounts for almost 20 percent of U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • According to a Harvard study, rental properties use more energy than owner-occupied properties. 


As rental property owners, we can do better. Let’s talk about energy efficiency in your rental property, and why implementing green practices in San Ramon is not only better for the planet, but also better for your tenant’s utility bills and your property’s value

How Efficient is Your San Ramon Investment Property Already?


To make your rental property more energy-efficient, you have to understand where your biggest weaknesses are. Maybe it’s insulation. Or old appliances. 


The first step in making your investment greener is to conduct an energy audit. This will show you where you stand and how you can improve. An energy audit can identify where a rental property’s strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to conserving resources and being sustainable. You’ll know where your property is using the most electricity, gas, water, and other resources. 


An energy audit provides owners with data that can be used to make good decisions. 


Making your rental property greener is totally within your control. Changing your tenant’s behavior is not. This is something to consider when you’re sharing the data with your residents. Let them know what you’re doing and why. Maybe your tenants are keeping the lights on all day and night, even if no one is home. Maybe the showers are running longer than they need to. 


You cannot do anything about how your tenants are using energy. Insisting that they take shorter showers is simply not realistic. However, you can tell them what you’ve learned and focus on the changes that you’re able to make yourself that lead to more efficiency. 


Potential San Ramon Rental Property Upgrades for Energy Efficiency


Your ideal starting point when it comes to making energy-efficient changes will depend on what you find out from your energy audit. We can share some of the most common energy-efficient moves that we have seen owners and investors make. These have been particularly beneficial:


  • Start with Energy-Efficient Appliances and Lighting 


Two of the most obvious places to start are with lighting and appliances. Why not focus on the large items that require a lot of energy? When it’s time to upgrade appliances or lighting at your rental property, think carefully about which appliances and which lights you will buy. There are some excellent energy-efficient options that may be slightly more expensive than basic models but will deliver more savings in the long run. Look for Energy Star-rated appliances. They are certified for efficiency and will reduce electric and water bills.  


LED bulbs are worth buying. They’re not as expensive as they once were, and they use less energy than incandescent bulbs. Those LED lights are longer-lasting, making them cost-effective in the long run. Your tenants will be thrilled that they won’t have to change them out – probably for the duration of their residency. 


  • Seal Doors and Windows


Energy is probably escaping from places that you don’t even know are leaving your rental property vulnerable. Sealing your doors and windows will keep heat inside when it’s cold. It will also keep cool air conditioning inside when it’s hot. By paying attention to the way your doors, windows, and insulation work, you can improve your energy efficiency without buying any new systems or tech. You simply have to make sure that the insulation around your doors and windows is working the way it should. 


Sealing the doors and windows in your rental property is an easy upgrade and something a handyman can easily accomplish. Air leaks are a big problem for energy bills, and will always lead to terrible efficiency. Make sure those doors and windows are closed off to the weather elements. For most properties, this is as easy as caulking around door and window frames or adding some weather-stripping. 


  • Water Heater Settings


To really introduce some energy efficiency into your appliances, you’ll want to install a tankless water heater. If it’s time to install a new water heater anyway, this may be your best shot at maximum energy efficiency. They can be expensive, but the investment is worth your money. 


Even if a tankless water heater isn’t in the budget, you can make your hot water a bit greener by paying attention to the condition of your traditional water heater. Make sure you have the temperature set at an optimal level. The default setting for most water heaters is 140 degrees. It’s safer to turn it down to 120 degrees, and that’s also going to save energy. Just don’t put that setting below 110 degrees. This could invite bacteria into the tank. 


  • Refrigerator Efficiency


Clean the refrigerator coils during the next turnover period. This will involve pulling the fridge away from the wall so you can access the back of it. You might notice that the coils behind the fridge are corroded with dust and debris. Cleaning your coils will reduce the refrigerator’s energy consumption, help the appliance operate more quietly, and extend the lifespan of the refrigerator. 


These are some of the quickest and most cost-effective upgrades you can make to create a rental environment that’s greener, more sustainable, and less expensive to operate. We’d be happy to give you some customized suggestions based on your unique rental property. 


Contact Property ManagerPlease contact us at Windsor Pacific Property Management if you have any questions about energy efficiency, or if you need help with San Ramon property management. We serve San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton, and surrounding areas.