November 30, 2010
Enhanced Rebates Help Multi-Family Property Owners & Residents
AUSTIN, TX – Multi-family property owners can now save up to 80% of the cost of energy efficiency improvements thanks to enhanced rebate offerings from Austin Energy. Available through September 30, 2011, Austin Energy’s Power Saver® program now offers 50% larger rebates for duct sealing, attic insulation, and solar screens. These highly cost-effective efficiency improvements are a great deal for property owners and tenants, and help reduce the overall cost for Austin Energy to serve all of its customers.
Multi-family properties are a vital part of Austin’s housing market and home to about half of Austin’s working families. The improved rebate offer will help multi-family property owners comply with the City of Austin’s Energy Conservation Audit & Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance. Under that ordinance, multi-family properties ten years or older must have an audit and energy rating on file with Austin Energy by June 1, 2011. The results of the audit must be disclosed to current and prospective tenants beginning with the June 1 date. Properties with energy usage 150% above average are required by the ordinance to bring usage within 110% of the average. “Our rebates are carefully structured to deliver value to our customers, our community and our environment,” said Karl R. Rábago, Austin Energy’s vice president of Distributed Energy Services. “Taking advantage of Austin Energy’s rebate offerings is a great way of improving building energy performance, increasing value to tenants, and reducing environmental footprint.”
Herman Cardenas, who owns then 28-unit Riverside Grove apartment complex in East Austin says energy efficiency improvements have made a huge difference. “Our electric bills used to be about $90 to $150 for a 1,100 sq. ft. townhome, but after we made these efficiency improvements, our bills are down to only $35 or $40 a month.” Mr. Cardenas used Austin Energy enhanced rebates to replace leaky ducts and add attic insulation. He received standard rebates in replacing his HVAC system with heat pumps and replacing windows. “It’s an investment that rewards you with more than just financial rewards – it’s a good feeling to know we’re saving so much energy and helping our residents do the same.”
The process starts with an energy audit, which measures the performance of existing systems and the condition of the building and mechanical systems. Audits are available from any of the more than 70 auditors that Austin Energy has certified to perform this work.
The maximum savings per customer under the program is 80% of total costs. Actual savings depend on the condition of the building and the work performed. In addition to increased rebates for sealing ducts, adding insulation and installing solar screens, property owners can also take advantage of standard rebates for many other improvements. These include:
New or Replaced Air Conditioners
New or Replaced Heat Pumps
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Common Area Fluorescent Lighting & more
With nearly 1,000 multi-family properties still needing complete their ECAD audit reporting requirements, Austin Energy officials are bracing for strong demand in the coming months. “We encourage property owners to get their audits and start saving now,” said Rábago. As always, rebate funds are subject to available approved budget. Some 225 multi-family properties have already made energy efficiency improvements through our Power Saver Program. Austin Energy is partnering with the Austin Apartment Association to inform owners on how to prepare for an ECAD audit.
Information on the ECAD audit will be presented at a seminar Jan. 13 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Springs Road. To reserve a spot, leave a message with your name and phone number at 482-5346.