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Real estate owners opt for environmentalism in Multi-Family Home Energy Savings

This is the new showerhead installed by Urban Equities maintenance staff.
Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Landlords are getting in on going green with the Multi-Family Home Energy Savings Program. In major metropolitan areas, such as Chicago, renters may start seeing changes in their apartments made available through the Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas “Natural Gas Savings Program” and ComEd’s “Smart Ideas for Your Home.”

This past weekend, Chicago-based real estate company Urban Equities renters received letters advising them of environmental changes coming to their apartments, including water-saving showerheads to replace existing inefficient fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to replace outdated incandescent light bulbs, high-efficiency faucet aerators to reduce water usage in kitchen and bathroom sinks, and hot water pipe insulation to help lower water-heating costs.

ComEd provides more energy saving tips online for residents who want to find ways to lower their electricity bills — appliance shopping tips, lighting guides, weatherization instructions, and heating and cooling tips. The most beneficial tip is to purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs, which last 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. CFLs also generate 70 percent less heat than standard lighting.

Also, Energy Conservation Awareness reports that CFL bulbs keep 450 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The more consumers actively support energy-saving products, the better chance of closing power plants, which would reduce CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and nuclear waste into the atmosphere.

Although renters have less control over major appliances than homeowners, ComEd confirms that today’s refrigerators are four times as efficient as those purchased in the 1970s. This type of savings may help influence landlords’ buying power for new and/or renovated properties. New renters should also start inquiring about the energy efficiency in living spaces during their apartment hunt.

Other tips to help guide people to a greener lifestyle include People’s Gas energy-efficient ways to use a dishwasher, why the size of a cooking pot can save on the cost of natural gas, when line-drying and cold versus hot water washing improves laundry expenses, and what the big deal is all about with ENERGY STAR appliances.

The energy-saving collaborations between landlords, homeowners and apartment dwellers not only helps to save money, but these living habits, appliance purchases and “green” education tips help the neighborhoods and planet, too.

This entry was originally written by Shamontiel on June 10 for a recycling company and is republished with her permission on Examiner.

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