Tenants have a list of features and amenities that they desire when looking for a potential apartment home, and energy efficiency is toward the top of the list. But because of the high upfront costs associated with upgrading, building operators tend to stick with outdated, inefficient heating equipment even long after its useful life ends. Inefficient equipment forces owners to overspend on heating and can leave residents inconvenienced and uncomfortable. Through the EmPOWER Maryland program, owners, developers, builders and property managers can take advantage of rebates on space and water heating equipment, substantially driving down the upfront costs of upgrading. With new gas equipment, building operators can lower utility costs. “A lot of multifamily properties are operating with outdated equipment,” said Erika Moore, Washington Gas Energy Efficiency Program Manager. “Depending on the property, these rebates could mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings on the equipment itself. Not to mention sizable returns on monthly bills.” Partnering with developers and homebuilders throughout Maryland, Washington Gas offers rebates for all types of properties, including master-metered and individually-metered multifamily buildings, townhomes and single-family houses. The rebates include upgrades to existing equipment as well as equipment in new construction projects. Since every property is different, Washington Gas creates custom solutions for each building. Some properties may need a simple boiler upgrade, while others may be switching from a master meter to meters for individual apartments. Washington Gas has been partnering with a 300-unit condominium development in Rockville to replace its outdated boilers. The pre-approved rebate amount for the project came to more than $47K. Downs explains that this rebate is based on the projected energy savings and that it went a long way toward showing the owner the benefits of upgrading. A study from AMLI Residential found that 84% of multifamily residents said that living in a sustainable home is important to them, and 85% said that living in a sustainable home is beneficial to their health. Those psychological benefits can translate to financial gains for owners. Having greener, controllable gas equipment can mean that tenants are willing to pay higher rents. That boost in NOI can even translate to an increase in property class. “Regardless of the property style and meter type, Washington Gas has energy-efficiency rebates that can bring value to any project,” said Moore. You can learn more about the Maryland Washington Gas commercial rebate program here. Businesses in Virginia can also participate in the incentive program here.