Cameron Cowan | Knowledge Steward
Finding ways to save money with older properties can be expensive and time-consuming. Newer buildings with modern insulation and other features are wonderfully efficient with energy and resources. However, in older properties there are some things that you can do that don't actually cost that much money. The biggest thing you can do right now is switch to LED light bulbs. By doing this retrofit you can save 78% on electricity costs over the next 25 years. You can also save money on the life of the bulbs.
Here are some ways you can save money using LED light bulbs:
LED light bulbs come in a variety of shades including incandesant yellow and shades of sunshine. You can get much brighter bulbs which can mean fewer fixtures, especially in exterior spaces. They don't require a warm-up time like CFLs.
High-quality LED bulbs make back their purchase cost in as little as 3 years with regular use.
In areas where you might need light 24/7 for security (like multifamily properties) LED bulbs have a life of 50,000 hours which is 6 years of continuous use. This is a tremendous savings in exterior lighting or multi-family properties.
Big Properties Save Big
According to a recent Buildium study, making the switch in large properties can yield at $25,000 a year cost savings and represents a 35% reduction in energy costs
They Don't Wear Out
You'll save on maintenance costs as they last much longer (often up to 20 years) and don't need to be replaced as often. This means big savings for your bottom line in your income property business.
Tax deductions may be available to you through your utility by switching to the bulbs. Seattle City Light offers rebates for their use: http://www.seattle.gov/light/homelighting/ Check with your local utility for other incentives and rebates.
Better for the Planet
CFLs, while efficient, had dangerous mercury in them that could cause adverse effect when disposed of or damaged in the rental. LEDs do not have mercury and are safer and better for the planet when they are finally disposed. Also, saving energy costs in our homes and businesses reduces our carbon footprint. Rental housing can help save the planet!
Have you considered upgrading your bulbs in your rental property? If you aren't, now be the time to start switching in these bulbs. You can save money and do something great for the planet at the same time. Doesn't that feel good already?