Avalon Apartments, a complex of three low-rise buildings located southwest of downtown Santa Rosa, is consuming a lot less energy than it did a year ago, thanks its owner’s decision to take advantage of incentives and free consulting offered by the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements program. Owner Dan Wylie was drawn to the program’s dual benefits of saving money and reducing his property’s environmental impacts. The enrollment process was very easy, he said, and the program’s administrator, Association for Energy Affordability, kept him in the loop with regular email updates throughout the upgrade process.
Mr. Wylie’s rebate amounted to $15,000, which paid for 90% of the total cost of the energy upgrades.
The in-unit and common area energy upgrades at Avalon Apartments are putting more money in the pockets of owner Daniel Wylie as well as his tenants. Upgrades in the common areas included replacing an older, less efficient water heater with a 97% efficient condensing storage model, and replacing laundry room and exterior lighting with energy-saving LED fixtures.
Fourteen of the units received new Energy Star refrigerators that use 464 kilowatt-hours per year of electricity, about 15% less than the models they replaced. Kitchen and bathroom faucets have new low-flow, 0.5 gallon per minute aerators, which reduce water waste and water heating energy. Energy-saving compact fluorescent light fixtures were installed in the apartments’ dining areas and bathrooms.
Mr. Wylie and his tenants have already noticed a drop in their energy bills, thanks to these improvements. Energy consultant Ross Oakley of Association for Energy Affordability steered Mr. Wylie through the upgrade process. Ross was a true professional, Mr. Wylie said — easy to work with and great about keeping him informed about every detail of the retrofit process.
624 Avalon Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA
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