Sustainability Plan Development Series

So far in my Sustainability Plan development series, I’ve given an overview of the plan and addressed the connection between communities and the food they eat.  In the third installment, I’ll address the Energy Conservation Strategy component of the plan. An average-sized HOA uses a significant  amount of energy. According to Consumer Reports, replacing a single 60 watt bulb with a 13 watt spiral-type compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) can save $57 over the life of the bulb. Assuming the average U.S. household has 45 light bulbs, the total money saved adds up to $2,565. Multiply that by a 100 unit HOA and you’re talking about some serious energy savings. Include common area lighting and all of a sudden something as simple as changing light bulbs can have a huge impact on an HOA’s carbon footprint and on its pocketbook.

CAP Management and Local Innovations are partnering to develop a Energy Conservation Strategy that would be customized to individual HOAs. Included in this strategy will be an Energy Audit where homes or condo buildings within an HOA are carefully analyzed to determine where energy is being wasted. The auditor will examine structures with an infrared camera to determine where cold air is coming in and how best to eliminate leaks. Hot water heaters will be evaluated, heating and cooling units will be inspected, duct work will be checked, and insulation levels will be determined. Local Innovations will then obtain bids to find the most economical option and work within your budget to upgrade your HOA’s energy system.

There are many additional ways in which an HOA can reduce its carbon footprint. Depending on the municipality in which your HOA is located, the choice could be made to use renewable rather than conventional energy from the power company. For HOAs that are looking to make a serious commitment to a sustainable future, small solar electric systems and small wind electric systems can be evaluated as options depending on local codes and zoning. And, as with every component of the Sustainability Plan, Local Innovations will work with the board to review the governing documents and make changes to clauses that discourage or disallow forward-thinking sustainability strategies.

These are but a few of the ways an HOA can reduce its energy consumption, making it more environmentally friendly, more economical, and more marketable. For more information on how your HOA can reduce its impact on the environment and save money through the development of its own Energy Conservation Strategy, contact chris@capmanagement.com.