Plugging into Multifamily - The Official Blog of AUM

Multi-Housing News - Making Your Mark

Posted by Alison Hoss on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 @ 03:47 PM

Multi-Housing News (MHN) recently reached out to AUM's Dimitri Kapsis for insight regarding benchmarking in our industry. 

Below you will find the article where Kaspis speaks on behalf of AUM and sheds a light onto AUM's experience with benchmarking in multifamily.

 

Making Your Mark

By Joshua Ayers, Senior Editor - Published November, 10 2014

Most operational tasks at multifamily communities strive to maximize efficiency in order to increase the bottom line. The web-based revolution in the past 10 to 15 years has helped these businesses to streamline their operations and as that technology evolves, companies are taking a closer look at, and improving, the ways they are spending money on property utilities through benchmarking.

So what is benchmarking? Putting it simply, benchmarking is the process of taking an entity’s specific set of metrics and measuring or comparing those metrics to the metrics of another entity or the average of metrics of other similar entities. In multifamily—and commercial and industrial buildings as well—an example would be taking the total use of electricity at one building and comparing that usage against other similar buildings, or the average usage of multiple buildings that are similar in stature.

While this might sound relatively simple, there are several factors that make utility benchmarking at multifamily communities and buildings more difficult than their commercial and industrial counterparts, including sub-metering, resident privacy and the willingness of utility companies to cooperate with requests for accurate data. Having the right tools, finding the right benchmarking vendor and being aware of local, state and federal benchmarking efforts can all help companies to build a benchmarking strategy that will help reduce utility costs and increase NOI.

A few vendors and tools

In order to effectively benchmark utilities, a company needs nothing more than a method of collecting, analyzing and storing the data, as well as a way to determine how other similar multifamily properties are consuming in order to track results. An initial gut response might include opening up Microsoft Excel or signing into Google Drive, but, unfortunately, the labor costs for tedious manual data entry for benchmarking would likely outweigh any savings that could be had, and there would be no guarantee that the data could be appropriately analyzed.

“This can be done in spreadsheets, but it is time consuming and tedious, and the analysis required to do it accurately is not as simple as adding up utility bills,” says benchmarking guru Jonathan Braman, vice president of the New York-based benchmarking company BrightPower. “For example, in climates with a lot of heating or cooling needs, building energy consumption varies a lot based on how hot the summer [is] or cold the winter is. If I installed a new efficient boiler before last winter’s polar vortex, I still probably used more gas than the previous winter. I may have used less than I would have with the boiler—but utility bills alone won’t show that.”

BrightPower is just one of many benchmarking companies that have emerged in the multifamily industry. One tool that the company offers its clients is its EnergyScoreCards platform, which automatically fetches data from most large utilities, and then “provides weather-normalized benchmarks at the building, property and portfolio levels,” he notes.

Braman says that the use of EnergyScoreCards has helped long-term clients decrease utility spending since they started using the project, but he also notes that the benchmarking alone isn’t necessarily a cause for energy saving.

That combined with working with BrightPower analysts can help companies sort through the data. If consumption problems are evident, BrightPower engineers and procurement experts help clients work through the problem.

“Benchmarking only helps owners make better decisions and take action to save energy,” he says. “We think of benchmarking as a critical component of energy management, but it must be combined with smart operations and maintenance, behavioral changes, and in some cases, capital improvements, to save energy.”

Another major player in the benchmarking industry is American Utility Management (AUM) Inc., which has been providing energy management solutions to the multifamily industry since 1994.

AUM Chief Energy Officer Dimitris Kapsis says that the most important tool for benchmarking is good data.

“The most essential tools for benchmarking is the availability of the actual comparative data, its integrity and overall size of the comparative group,” he says.

AUM’s primary benchmarking tool, SCORE, utilizes data captured from a state-of-the-art data capture process that checks the data’s integrity, and then provides benchmarking that takes into account geographic region, property type and other property characteristics and their overall utility usage to rate a property’s energy efficiency again similar peer groups.

Kapsis stresses the importance of the data integrity checks, since manual data entry can be flawed, as can data that comes directly from the utility companies.

“It could be a situation where we have some data entry issues such as fat fingering, or we even have data issues coming from the utility, because unlike the popular consensus, utilities make mistakes and sometimes [they] make big mistakes,” he says.

Once the data is validated and entered into the system, AUM’s system monitors the data for anything that is out of trend, including utility usage.”

“It’s pretty straight forward. We put some variances in place up or down, and if they break through those barriers that we manually set into the system then the system notifies us,” he says. “We look into it as to if it’s a legit variance. If it is, we let it go through the system and the client receives a notification. From there, either themselves or with our help, we can work on fixing the issue.”

Kapsis referenced an AUM Energy Management client with a portfolio of more than 100 properties that was able to identify conservation opportunities through benchmarking efforts that led to $400,000 in annual savings with a ROI in just 13 months.

NWP, which offers benchmarking through its analytics portfolio, offers a product called ScoreCard, which allows clients to rank a property within a portfolio to see how it is doing against its peers.

ScoreCard also takes into account factors such as weather normalization, and benchmarks several utilities both individually and combined.

“You can look at gas, electric and then a combined gas and electric,” says Chris Dorando, product manager for NWP’s Utility Smart product line. “So for instance, if you’re a property that has electric heating and you want to know how that property is performing against other properties in the area that have gas heating, we normalize that so that you can actually make a comparison.”

NWP also works with clients that use the EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager, which anonymously tracks whole-building energy and water consumption data that can be used for benchmarking.

All three energy management and consulting companies, BrightPower, AUM and NWP, are service and product provider (SSP) partners through the Energy Star Portfolio Manager program. According to Energy Star, SSP partners “have demonstrated their expertise and achievements by meeting strict Energy Star program requirements for benchmarking customer buildings using Portfolio Manager and gaining Energy Star certification for buildings.”

Challenges and the future

Utility benchmarking has been around since the 1990s, but was primarily restricted to more commercial buildings, where whole-building consumption data is easier to acquire and track.

Even though an assortment of industry suppliers have assisted EPA in creating and improving the Portfolio Manager, whole-building data remains one of the biggest challenges for multifamily due to property complexity and the various types of metering structures set up at those properties.

“The main difference between the rest of the industry and multifamily, especially when we’re talking about commercial or retail, is that each individual unit-—an individual unit could be a retail shop or an entire office building—tends to have central metering for electric, gas and water. So, when we capture the data, we know what the entire unit is using on a per-month, quarterly and annual basis.”

This type of cumulative data makes a platform like Portfolio Manager easy to use and compare to other similar properties by type and region.

With multifamily, however, properties can range from garden-style, to high-rise buildings and beyond, with each of those different types of buildings. Utilities across the spectrum can be measured across the entire property, such as water, which tends to be measured by whole-building, combined with utilities such as gas and electric, that are measured in either entire building or individual apartments or somewhere in between.

“To be able to compare apples to apples for a particular property, it’s not just location and type of property, it’s also what type of metering they have in place. And, not just for one type of utility, it could have a diversity of metering types depending on what utility you’re looking at … that was the difficulty that the EPA had up until recently and they still do.”

Currently, whole building data can only be acquired from utilities that have willingly agreed to provide the information in good faith or that have been mandated by
cities to provide the information, with the first option being subject to a variety of
data discrepancies.

“Benchmarking laws in several cities have also helped owners and vendors to improve the process and greatly expand the number of properties benchmarking,” BrightPower’s Braman says.

Kapsis, who notes that owners are gravitating toward individual metering for gas and electric as residents demand more control over factors like individual unit climate settings and knowing their own utility usage, is in agreement that the availability of whole-building data will help with benchmarking.

“As a result of those mandates, we will be able to capture whole-building data,” he says.

Dorando believes that the mandate trend is not going to fade away anytime soon.

“As those urban areas like Seattle and New York and Washington D.C. [and] Chicago start to roll out, I think you’ll start to see a lot more of that happen across the country,” he says. “Other communities will start to follow that. It’s something that’s going to be happening, and it’s something that we help our clients with. It’s pretty cutting edge at this time. I think it’s going to be a valuable tool for the property owners because they’ll be able to really improve their properties.”

As this whole-building data becomes more accessible to vendors and their clients, more research and evidence on the effectiveness of benchmarking will become available to owners and operators.

“People used to say, rightly at the time, that there were no good databases of multifamily energy and water use data, so no one knew what was good or bad,” Braman says. “Now we know.”


Tags: Energy management, Multifamily, Utilities, Submetering, ENERGY STAR, Benchmarking, Data analysis, Data capture

Multifamily Market Alert - EPA Announces 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score for Multifamily

Posted by Alison Hoss on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 @ 03:01 PM

 

Multifamily Market Alert

EPA Announces 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score for Multifamily

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  announced the availability of its 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for Multifamily. For two years, EPA has been analyzing energy data received from the Fannie Mae Multifamily Survey and Data Taxonomy Project. Available through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, the score enables owners and managers to compare energy performance of their properties against similar properties nationwide.  It provides valuable information to help prioritize energy efficiency efforts and track improvements. 

AUM Chief Energy Officer Dimitris Kapsis was actively involved in the development of the benchmarks, and the score is an important development in the future of Multifamily energy management.  

As an ENERGY STAR Partner, AUM works on your behalf to ensure that both property characteristics data and energy usage data needed to deliver a score are correctly input into Portfolio Manager.  We will continue collaborating with EPA to make sure the new tool is an effective measure of your energy usage.

 

 

Why AUM?
Founded in 1994, AUM is celebrating its 20th anniversary of increasing Multifamily property NOI & RE value through use of its integrated Resident Billing & Energy/Utility Management tools. 

For a no-obligation NOI Analysis & Program Plan that demonstrates what AUM can do to help your bottom line, click below.

No-Obligation NOI Analysis

To learn more about our services click below

AUM Services Overview

 

Tags: Energy consumption, Multifamily, Energy Efficiency, ENERGY STAR, Benchmarking, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Portfolio Manager, Fannie Mae

Boston Delays Benchmarking and Disclosure Reporting

Posted by James Kenneally on Thu, May 01, 2014 @ 12:21 PM

describe the imageToday, the Boston City Council voted  to approve the bill filed by Councilor Frank Baker to delay the implementation of the energy reporting and disclosure mandate in Boston for one year. The lone vote against the measure was Councilor Matt O’Malley (D-Jamaica Plain).

Click here to read the delay amendment.

In 2013 the City of Boston approved a new mandate requiring owners with buildings over 35,000 gross square feet to report and publicly disclose energy and water use. The law was to be phased in over three years starting this year.

Nine cities and two states have adopted energy benchmarking and disclosure laws. While all of them require building owners to track their properties' energy use, the laws vary regarding the size and type of buildings they affect; whether the energy use data must be disclosed publicly, or just to potential tenants or buyers; and other factors. 

Major unresolved issues have led to delays in implementation in other cities.  Seattle has revised its originally planned program and has twice postponed the date by which reporting is to occur for residential buildings.   Washington DC has had several years of delays and only recently issued rules nearly five years after the law was enacted.  

AUM will continue to keep multifamily property owners affected by this mandate and otherbenchmarking and disclosureinitiatives as they occur.

Tags: Energy consumption, Conservation, Sustainability and Benchmarking, Energy Efficiency, Benchmarking, energy disclosure, Seattle, Boston, Energy Building Audits

Carried Interest, Benchmarking, and CA SB 750 Dominate AUM visit to Capitol Hill

Posted by Michael Miller on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:18 PM

AUM Discusses Carried Interest with Congressional Leaders during NAA Capitol Conference

describe the imageIn conjunction with National Apartment Association President Doug Culkin, AUM coordinated a meeting with Congressman Aaron Schock (R- IL) and Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to discuss Multifamily interests and concerns regarding carried interest.

 

The Obama Administration brought the issue to the forefront on Super Bowl Sunday when thedescribe the image President noted that more tax revenue would be needed in order to reduce the U.S. deficit. Obama stated that he would seek to end deductions that are not available to all Americans, singling out Carried Interest, which refers to the tax rate paid by many private equity managers, venture capital, and real estate partnerships. Obama Questions 'Carried Interest' Tax Break.  Carried Interest is of particular importance to Multifamily. If Multifamily developers are taxed at 39.6% instead of 15%, future investments in Multifamily projects are put at risk, leaving fewer buildings being developed.

As with most legislative issues being discussed today, passing the Obama administration initiatives is proving difficult.  While Obama and the Democrats in Congress would like to bring Carried Interest to the forefront, it is not being considered by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.  That being said, it is important to note that the Carried Interest discussion may take a different turn with the 2014 Congressional races.  Expect the Democratic minority to make a big push to gain 15 of the 50 seats available during the 2014 elections.  Gaining 15 seats will provide the Obama Administration with a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, allowing them to make changes to Carried Interest that would be detrimental to Multifamily development.

 

Freddie Mac Exploring Multifamily Benchmarking

Freddie MacWhile in Washington, DC, we were invited by Freddie Mac to discuss multifamily energy benchmarking.  Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970 with a public mission to stabilize the nation's residential mortgage markets and expand opportunities for homeownership and affordable rental housing, and its mission is to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing market.

Freddie Mac, like Fannie Mae before it, is interested in using energy usage and consumption data as part of its finance underwriting process.  Seeking a proper Multifamily energy efficiency benchmark platform that is not necessarily tied to EPA Portfolio Manager, Freddie was interested in learning more about AUM Score, the ONLY energy efficiency benchmarking tool designed specifically for Multifamily.

So, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appear to be seeking ways to benchmark energy efficiency in Multifamily.  With these developments, as well as various benchmarking and disclosure initiatives enacted throughout the country, it appears that energy benchmarking is becoming an accepted business practice, both operationally and financially.  As the premier energy management partner to multifamily, it is our goal not only to inform our clients, but to work on their behalf to ensure compliance and maximum energy efficiency.

 

California Senate Bill 750 Update

describe the imageAs communicated in March through this blog and as part of a California Market Alert, Senate Bill 750 was introduced in late February by Senator Lois Wolk of the CA Third Senate District. SB750, coauthored by Assembly Member Paul Fong of the CA 28th District, would require all structures (with a few exceptions) built after January 1st, 2014 to be individually metered by the water providers, or have Submeters installed to measure water use. Under SB750, any charges to residents for water would be determined by the use of a Submeter or included in their rent. Any Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS) would be prohibited.

While in Washington, I took advantage of our visits on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressmen Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) office.  Congressmen McCarthy is the current House Majority Whip, and has been a proponent of Multifamily’s interests.  My meeting was specific to SB750 to determine the best course of action to protect Multifamily’s interests in California.

McCarthy’s staff directed us to Senator Jean Fuller (CA 18th Senate District), Vice Chair of the Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee.  We spoke to her staff and plan on speaking with the staff attorney of the Republican Caucus for the CA Judiciary Committee, where the bill currently resides  A hearing date has not been set.

AUM is leading the charge to protect your interests with respect to this bill.  We will continue to work with our lobbyist in California and keep you informed of any critical developments.

Tags: Multifamily, Benchmarking, President Obama, carried interest, Capitol Hill, NAA, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Senate Bill 750, AUM Score, Kevin McCarthy

MARKET ALERT - DC Sets April 1 Deadline for Energy Benchmarking

Posted by James Kenneally on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 @ 02:22 PM


Washington DC ArialDistrict of Columbia publishes final regulations requiring all large private buildings benchmark their energy and water performance annually.


 

On January 18, 2013, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) published the final rulemaking for energy benchmarking of private buildings in the D.C. Register (60 DCR 367). This final rule-making puts into execution the District of Columbia Green Building Act (GBA) of 2006, as amended by the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, requires owners of large buildings in the District to benchmark the energy and water performance of their buildings using US Environmental Protection Agency's Portoflio Manager tool. These laws and pursuant regulations were passed to promote widespread understanding of energy and water use in the District, and to promote resource conservation.


Deadlines for reporting energy and water usage are as follows:

Building Deadline requirements

Do You Need to Comply?

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) has established a help center to answer basic questions regarding your requirements for benchmarking and disclosure.  The Most Frequently Asked Questions can be viewed here. The Penalty for non-compliance of this legislation is $100 a day.

As a Multifamily property owner, the whole building square footage is to be taken into consideration when determining whether or not you need to comply, but you only need to report common area utility usage data.

In addition, DDOE has developed several guidance documents, with technical details on what needs to be reported and how, including forms for requesting utility data, and instructions for the adjustments being made to the program for its initial year. The set of guidance documents also include several optional forms for requesting tenant that building owners and managers may find useful.

As your energy management partner, AUM offers expert execution on ensuring your data is properly loaded into EPA's Portfolio Manager and you have successfully reported your information to the DDOE. 

AUM is an EPA Energy Star partner, and is uniquely positioned to ensure your compliance with these guidelines.  Contact us below to find out how we can walk you through the maze of the Washington, DC Guidelines.

Information on Washington, DC Benchmarking and Disclosure Compliance

Tags: Energy consumption, Multifamily, Utilities, Sustainability and Benchmarking, Energy Efficiency, Legislation, EPA Portfolio Manager, ENERGY STAR, Benchmarking, D.C. Green Building Act, Property characteristic survey

Future of Multifamily Energy Benchmarking Discussed in IMT Report

Posted by Michael Miller on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 @ 01:19 PM

Benchamrking your property's energy efficiency.The Institute for Market Transformation(IMT), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building and environmental protection in the United States and abroad, recently issued a report, Energy Transparency in the Multifamily Housing Sector.  The report provides a comprehensive look at energy benchmarking policies and their stakeholders.  Energy benchmarking has been a rising topic in the multifamily housing industry since President Obama's Better Buildings Initiative in February, 2011.

Click here for the Report: Energy Transparency in  the Multifamily Housing Sector


EPACurrently Seattle, Austin, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, as well as California and Washington have enacted policies for disclosing energy benchmarking information.  These disclosure policies are meant to accomplish energy efficiency initiatives set by state and local governments. But they may also prove to be beneficial to multifamily property owners.  The multifamily housing industry spends approximately $22 billion in energy annually, and with multifamily buildings constructed before building energy codes were put in place, there are many opportunities for energy-efficiency improvements.


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and CNT Energy noted that cutting electricity usage by 15 percent and gas usage by 30 percent would result in $3.3 billion in utility bill savings annually.   Since 2000, energy costs have increased by 20 percent, which has resulted in decreased affordability for renters.  The rise in energy costs has affected property owners and renters throughout the multifamily housing industry.  Property owners must look for ways to improve their property’s energy efficiency and cut their energy costs.

Benchmarking is an innovative way for property owners to identify energy performance compared to other properties of the same characteristics.  Through energy benchmarking, property owners are able to capture energy consumption data in order to find ways to cut energy usage and reduce expenses.  


Benefits to Benchmarking and Disclosure


The IMT Report notes that, from an overall market perspective, cutting energy costs can increase cash flow and increase competition in the marketplace.  The report states that energy-efficient properties have higher occupancy levels along with higher leasing and sales prices. In cities that are requiring benchmarking and disclosure, Properties must be able to present a Statement of Energy Performance (SEP), in which prospective renters may use for comparison purposes.  In these cities, property managers must be able to explain the rating and potentially explain a difference in an SEP compared to another property to entice the renter. (See:  Understanding your SEP -March 8, 2012).


Many property owners have cited the expense in capital costs necessary to make their properties more energy efficient.  The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies issued a report, America's Rental Housing, Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities, in April 2011, noted that the median age of an apartment community was 36 years, and many buildings were constructed before modern energy codes were adopted.  Additionally, existing incentive and rebate programs often overlook multifamily.  But the attitude of financing is changing.  Banks are now seeing benefits for lending for energy efficiency purposes, and property owners can now receive the necessary capital to start energy efficiency initiatives that will increase their property’s value and attract tenants who would spend less on their utility bills.  


Why is multifamily benchmarking so difficult and how is AUM Helping?


As early as our blog in February 2011, we have written that the barriers to energy for multifamily benchmarking are difficult. First, diversity and fragmentation of building type make the design of a common benchmark a very complex undertaking. How can you compare a New York City high-rise to a Florida garden-style apartment property?  Secondly, cities and states are not uniform on how to categorize multifamily. Is the building a commercial space or is it residential?  It is a unique mix of both.


Creating a benchmark is a function of the assets of the property – the property characteristics data, and its energy usage – usage data. AUM has worked in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a standard Data Taxonomy to gather property characteristics in a uniform, meaningful way. (Read our Data Taxonomy White Paper).
Where multifamily is hampered in its efforts to be more energy efficient, and therefore more operationally efficient, is the permission to gather effective usage data. In many instances, multifamily owners cannot legally access the utility bills of the residents due to tenant privacy laws. Without the correct energy usage data, decision-makers lack the data needed to effectively measure energy efficiency initiatives.


Benchmarking for Energy Performance – Fad or Future?


The difficulties in groundbreaking legislation in New York City and Austin have caused evolution to overcome barriers such as access to residential energy usage in Seattle. Additionally, Environmental Protection Agency’s work to gather sufficient data for a true multifamily energy benchmark has been a focus for over a year, and they are now performing data testing to determine appropriate benchmarks. Expectations are the Environmental Protection Agency will have a multifamily benchmark toward the end of 2013.


This benchmark, combined with current cities legislative efforts, mean that multifamily will be included in legislation in more and more cities as the future unfolds. As the premier energy management partner to multifamily, AUM will ensure that our clients are prepared for the future, with the ability benchmark in accordance with mandates, and reap the benefits of increased property values due to increased energy efficiency.

Tags: Utility expense Management, Energy budgeting, Utilities, Sustainability and Benchmarking, Capital expense, Energy Efficiency, EPA Portfolio Manager, ENERGY STAR, Benchmarking, D.C. Green Building Act, White paper, EPA, MacArthur Foundation, AUMScore, Better Buildings Initiative, New York City, New York Greener Greater Buildings Plan, Energy audit, NYC Local Law 84, Environmental Protection Agency, IMT

Nomar Garciaparra, Mia Hamm, and Burt Jacobs of Life is Good to Headline Day 2 at NAA

Posted by Dave Carpenter on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 @ 02:44 PM

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Welcome to day two of the National Apartment Association Education Conference and Expo (Twitter:  #NAAEduConf)here in beautiful Bean-town!

Today's conference has a great lineup of speakers!  Nomar Garciaparra, the famed shortstop of the Boston Red Sox, and his wife, USA Women's Soccer trailblazer and the greatest women's soccer player of all time, Mia Hamm, are set to speak at the General Session at 2:30 PM.

In the morning, Life is Good Co-Founder and Chief Executive Optimist Burt Jacobs is speaking on the power of Optimism and where is can take you in life.

The action in Booth 761 for American Utility Management (Twitter: @AUM_Chicago) has been impressive.  If you are at the show, stop by for a Sam Adams Beer and insights on multifamily energy management!

Tags: Utility expense Management, Energy management, Energy consumption, Multifamily, Utilities, Cost cutting, Bill Processing, Resident Billing, Energy services, Sustainability and Benchmarking, Benchmarking, AUMScore, Boston, Business Intelligence, NAA, Press coverage, NAA Education Conference & Exposition

We are now LIVE at NAA!!!!! Meet Mike Vorhees of Holland Residential!

Posted by Dave Carpenter on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 02:52 PM

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The exhibit hall is now open and buzzing with activity!  It's great to see all of our multifamily partners here, and we look forward to seeing everyone during the two-day Expo here in Boston!

Exhibiting at a National show like this allows AUM to highlight our property owner and manager partners.  Throughout the show we will be interviewing and celebrating our partners!!!

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Meet Mike Vorhees, Vice President of Holland Residential.  Holland Residential are owners/managers of 22,000 apartment units in the West Coast, Arizona, and Colorado.  Mike, an avid snowmobiler, hiker, and NASCAR fan, is located in Seattle.


AUM:  What knowledge do you expect to gain from attending the NAA Education Conference and Expo?

Voorhees: "The NAA show is a chance to network with partners, vendors, and other property owners/managers.  I love to see what new technology is avaialble to Holland Residential.  I'm looking for new ideas to help us improve operating performance, employ better efficiency, and grow our bottom line."

AUM:  Boston is a unique city.  Have you had a chance to experience anything outside of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center?

Voorhees:  "Anyone visiting Boston needs to see Fenway Park for a Boston Red Sox Baseball experience.  The Green Monster in Left Field is truly a site to see.  Also, Boston is filled with such unique architecture.  The age of the buildings and the blend of new and old architecture, even within a building, is somethign rarely seen.

Speaking of Green Monster, the AUM Booth at NAA is one of the most creative booths here.  You really re-created the Green Monster and added your own AUM detail.  It's awesome!"


Be sure to stop by booth 761 in Boston, or follow us on Twitter (@AUM_Chicago)!

Tags: Energy management, Energy consumption, Multifamily, Bill Processing, Resident Billing, Benchmarking, AUMScore, Business Intelligence, NAA, Press coverage, NAA Education Conference & Exposition

Emmy Winner Tom Brokaw of NBC News Headlines Day One of NAA in Boston!

Posted by James Kenneally on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 02:52 PM

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Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent to NBC News and one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism, gave a thought-provoking narrative and insights from more than 40 years of firsthand experiences talking to everyone from world leaders to average citizens in the midst of life-changing events.

Key to his talk was the Country's treatment of Military as our fighting men and women come back to the US after a Tour of Duty.  As they return, we as a Country need to improve out integration of military back into modern society.  At every airport in the United Sates, we should be greeting, hugging, and helping to re-acclimate our brothers and sisters back into society and the workplace.

US Armed Forces make up 1% of the overall US population, yet they have the highest suicide rates, divorce rates, and unemployment rates as a single population group.  He has started a Foundation to help put a dent into these problems.

American Utility Management would also like to congratulate and Acknowledge 2012 NAA Hall of Fame Inductees Tom Shuler, CAPS, of Berkshire Property Advisors and Jerry Warshaw, CAPS, CPM, of Warshaw Properties, Inc.  Congratulations Gentlemen!!!

Tags: Utility expense Management, Energy management, Energy consumption, Multifamily, Utilities, Utility bills, Cost cutting, Bill Processing, Resident Billing, Sustainability and Benchmarking, Energy Efficiency, EPA Portfolio Manager, Benchmarking, Data analysis, Business Intelligence, NAA, Press coverage, NAA Education Conference & Exposition, Press releases

Roger Dow Leads Spirited First Session at NAA in Boston!

Posted by Dave Carpenter on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 02:51 PM

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What an inspiring first session at the National Apartment Association Education Conference and Expo in Boston (@NAAEduConf)!  Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Travel Association, and former Marriott executive, gave an uplifting pep talk to a packed room!

Roger's talk centered around empowering people to make the difference in any organization.  Using companies like Harley-Davidson as an example of creating enthusiasm within an organization, he talked about ensuring that every employee believes they make a difference.  did you know that Harley-Davidson actually encourages their employees to get Harley-Davidson Tattoos!?!?  I'm thinking of giving employee incentives for the most creative AUM multifamily energy efficiency tattoos.  Perhaps one of our valued colleagues will even get the AUM Score energy efficiency benchmarking logo tattooed!


So what creates an enthusiastic company?  Roger spoke of four basic tenants:

    • Quality
    • Trust
    • Value
    • Relationships - with vendors, suppliers, and customers

At AUM, we aim to be THE Energy Management partner to the multifamily industry.  As we continue to to provide the tools to make multifamily energy management easier, faster, and most importantly, more effective for property owners, we hope that you find our products, AND OUR PEOPLE, provide the Quality, Value, and Trust that you seek in an energy and utility management partner!

Stop by booth 761 here at NAA and check out our new AUM Advanced Analytics tool, the most comprhenive energy expense reporting tool in multifamily!

If you can't stop by, follow us on Twitter (@AUM_Chicago) for the latest on multifamily energy management!

Tags: Energy cost, Utility expense Management, Energy management, Multifamily, Bill Processing, Resident Billing, Energy services, Sustainability and Benchmarking, Benchmarking, AUMScore, Data analysis, Data collection, Data capture, Business Intelligence, NAA, Press coverage, NAA Education Conference & Exposition