If you’re looking for a way to enhance your community’s bottom line, the solution might be right above your head.  And it could be as easy as flipping a switch. These days, lighting your building or community comes with a selection of options to make the process more affordable. One great choice is replacing existing lightbulbs with high-efficiency bulbs – they’re a little more expensive than the old-fashioned ones, but offer many long-term benefits that make them completely worthwhile. After all, part of good HOA management is doing what’s best for your building in the long run. "Replacing old lamps that burn out every other month and are even too hot to touch can illuminate your community while saving money, lasting a lot longer, and producing approximately 90% less heat – that’s a win, win, win situation,” says Chris Normandeau, Director of Energy Management at FirstService Energy.  “But first be sure that any lamps you’re considering buying are the right solutions for the application – that way you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also do it right the first time and won’t have to worry about it for the next five, ten or more years.” So let’s shed a little light on retrofitting to high-efficiency bulbs.

1. You may be eligible for incentives and rebates.

Some states and special programs offer cash-back incentives to offset some of the expenditures you make to enhance your building’s energy efficiency – and lighting can be a big part of that. Professional property managers will be able to point you in the direction of programs that are a good fit for your community association.

2. Your building actually becomes safer.

It’s no secret that good lighting deters crime. Advanced lighting comes with other benefits, including more light output and diminished flickering that enhance the security of your building. On a lighter note, high-efficient lighting is also available in improved colors that create a more welcoming effect.

3. You’re helping the planet.

So here’s where you can think outside the building. High-efficiency lighting uses less energy, of course. That means power companies use less coal and fuel to generate the electricity we use. With that comes lowered emissions – and that means overall environmental benefits for all of us.

4. You’ll save money.

Like we said earlier, the sticker price on some of those bulbs may shock you a little bit. But when you factor in their longer lifetimes and lower electricity requirements, you’ll see how you’ll enjoy significant savings over time. A good property management company will be able to help you find a solution that balances initial investment with long-term savings.

5. You’ll see your property value go up. 

Energy Star, the government program that certifies high-efficiency products, has conducted research that indicates that for every dollar invested in a property’s energy efficiency, its value could increase threefold. So don’t think of high-efficiency lighting as an expense – consider it an investment. There certainly are a lot of bright sides when it comes to a lighting retrofit. For more information about high-efficiency changes that can save you money, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s leader in community association management.
Wednesday February 18, 2015