It’s 2014: Do You Know Who’s Watching Your Energy?


The answer might surprise you.

While energy is essential to the livelihood of a building, it’s often taken for granted. For the most part, the lights turn on every day and water runs. We’re lucky enough to live in a time and place where that level of comfort is something we can rely on. So who can we thank? It takes a lot of time and effort from a lot of different people to keep a building up and running but it’s really difficult to pinpoint who is actually in control of the one thing that actually keep a building, well, up and running: energy.

The Super

Well, the Super’s job is to make sure that the building is running smoothly, sure. But he only knows when there’s a problem because 4A is yapping about it. The Super responds to tenant complaints and fixes problems accordingly. Energy is not at the top of his list and he has little incentive to make it a priority if no one is complaining. Next!

The Tenant

Sure, some energy-savvy tenants care about how much energy they use, especially if utilities are not included in their rent. They may know all about the benefits of LED light bulbs and they may have installed low-flow aerators on their faucets, but they didn’t do it in every unit, it’s not their job. Moving along…

The Property Manager

Property Managers manage just that: properties. What does that consist of? Building safety, staff efficiency, rent collection, bill payments, resident retention, budgeting, etc. Property managers have to quantify energy use and they might even implement changes in the hopes of reducing it, but so much of their job is about juggling. If they have to choose one ball, odds are it’s not going to be energy.

The Energy Contractor

They came, maybe the installed, maybe they adjusted some settings, then they left. Set it and forget it just doesn’t work. They can bring your building up to speed and provide all of the tools necessary for energy greatness, but in order for those measures to keep working, and that is the most important part of the process, someone needs to stick around for the long haul.

Think about where you live. Is there someone there whose sole responsibility it is to make sure energy is doing its job and doing it well? Is there someone who knows what that even means? Considering how much we depend on light, water, heat, gas, etc., shouldn’t someone be watching the thing that makes it all possible?