- March 20, 2015
- Posted by: @dmin
- Category: Condo Property Management Services
Green initiatives are everywhere: from companies promising organic, earth-friendly products to politicians unveiling plans to reduce pollution and trash in their areas, we are a society concerned with the environment.
There is good reason to be concerned on a variety of levels:
- On average, energy use takes up 15% of our annual household income; that means, for every $100 you earn, $15 goes to paying for your energy use.
- 34% of residents of Ontario mainly drink bottled water, even if a private or municipal water supply was readily available.
In response, Canadian businesses have rallied, producing a variety of environmental goods and supplying a number of environmental services as well. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, with the most recent figures revealing revenues totaling $3.9 billion annually.
How Condo Management Companies in Toronto Are Helping
Property managers are in a unique position to help drive environmental initiatives, specifically by finding ways to reduce energy use in Toronto, and to help clients gain control of their utility bills. A skilled property manager can give you a good idea of your building’s overall energy use, and identify ways to cut back and save money.
ICC® itself has taken special measures for its clients in order to give energy savings to its property management clients in Toronto and the GTA. We have entered into a purchase agreement with ECNG Inc. to buy natural gas in bulk, providing a discounted rate. We pass these savings along to the buildings we manage via a natural gas rebate.
We have the ability to provide similar savings for electricity, as the electricity industry underwent deregulation several years ago, opening the door to new potential avenues for savings. These programs mean that working with ICC® as a condominium manager can truly be a game changer in terms of your condo energy management in Toronto. We have not found a similar program among any other condo managers in the Toronto area.
Aside from providing reduced energy rates, we can also provide a number of other services related to energy:
- Keeping clients informed about new events, regulations, and changes that might impact how much they spend on utilities.
- Staying up-to-date on government programs that are available for reducing energy consumption or reducing costs.
- Finding ways in each building to save on energy, with things like better appliances, lighting, mechanical systems, HVAC facilities, and more.
- Managing the building’s overall energy budget and finding ways to reduce both spending and volatility.
Each of these activities helps us keep your energy rates low, resulting in lower overall fees for the building, saving both condo boards and residents money on maintenance fees. To learn more, contact ICC® directly, and we can work with you to generate a proposal that would bring suitable services to your building.
Other Ways of Going Green
Aside from skilled and careful energy management, condo management companies in Toronto have many other ways they can work with condo boards and residents to “live green” and have a more environmentally friendly community.
Keep Facilities and Units Updated
While renovations may seem costly at first, they often lead to significant savings down the road. Not only can your condo building suggest initiatives to update appliances and air conditioning, but older buildings, in particular, can benefit from things like better insulation or even plumbing repair and upgrades.
Taking opportunities to evaluate and update some of these materials now can save the board and residents money over time, particularly if there are ways to fit them in as part of the regular repair and maintenance schedule for the building.
Consider Resident Requests
Most condo boards have a process for residents to make requests for alterations to their units. Some of these may seem unorthodox, but condominium management can do its part by evaluating certain requests that unit owners make for having more environmentally friendly units.
For example, solar energy has long been touted as a way to save on energy, but many believe it to be restricted to businesses or people living in single-family homes. However, some condo owners throughout North America have found ways to incorporate solar power into their units by using unoccupied roof space for panels. When such requests are reasonable and can be implemented with minimal disruption to other cosmetic and functional aspects of the building, condo boards can consider and approve such requests when appropriate.
Encourage Building-Wide Initiatives
Along with approving reasonable requests by residents for environmentally friendly unit modifications, condo management companies in Toronto might also consider building-wide green initiatives. One example is waste management.
- In the last year in which data is available, Canadians diverted 8.5 million tonnes of solid waste for recycling and composting in 2008.
- In 2011, 61% of Canadian households joined in some kind of composting, up from only 23% back in 1994.
- Households living in detached single-family dwellings were much more likely to compost, with over 50% reporting they had done so, compared with only 22% of households living in multi-unit dwellings.
Property managers can help by ensuring that recycling bins are conveniently located and clearly labelled throughout the building. This makes it easy for residents to sort their own trash and to deposit appropriate materials for recycling each week.
In addition, composting can be another way to encourage residents to go green. By having separate receptacles for organic waste that can be composted, condominium management can encourage residents to dispose of such materials in a responsible fashion. Some may even be appropriate for use in landscaping, resulting in other kinds of savings for the building in the form of landscaping materials.
Does your condo building participate in green initiatives? What other ways can multi-unit buildings encourage residents to go green and help the environment? What programs do you know of that your condominium management company takes advantage of in keeping energy fees as low as possible? ICC® would love to hear more. We also encourage you to download our eBook to learn more about our best practices in property management and how we help our clients save time, resources, and money.