Wednesday, June 20, 2012

iCast Providing Much Needed Help to the Multifamily Industry

iCast has begun providing a win-win for apartments.   Most multifamily buildings are good candidates for money-saving energy efficiency measures.   Unfortunately, building owners often don't have a good way to find out the most cost effective upgrades, nor the money to implement them.

Here's a press release about the iCast program:

"iCAST, a Colorado based not-for-profit was recently awarded a 30 month cooperative agreement with HUD to establish an innovative program that provides new ways of making cost-effective investments in Energy Efficiency (EE) for the low-income multifamily housing community. iCAST is tasked with providing a simple, yet comprehensive program that achieves cost savings for owner/managers while creating a more comfortable and healthier environment for residents via an integrated suite of improvements, including energy conservation measures, behavior change measures, demand side management measures that reduce peak/demand charges, water conservation, indoor air quality, etc. The HUD award also offers a unique combination of incentives, rebates, and financing programs to owners and managers. iCAST designs solutions so that your investment pays for itself. You start saving money from Day 1! iCAST projects have reduced the energy bills of over 1,000 multifamily units by an average of 30%, while helping owner/managers hedge against rising energy costs, improve the value of their properties, and enhance the quality of life for residents."

Please note "behavior change measures".   That is an interesting topic unto itself.   Here's an example:
When you have "free heat" in your apartment, you might abuse it without even knowing it.   You might keep your thermostat at 74F all the time, and open a bedroom window for "fresh air".  Behavior like this can easily double the amount of heat that you use, causing your "affordable apartment" to be less affordable for the building owner.
"Behavior change", in this case, is training the residents to keep the windows closed in the winter to save energy.

Another example might be to train tenants to program and use a setback thermostat.  Many  tenants (usually the younger ones) are highly concerned about the environment will use them if given the chance.

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