Solutions in Action
Incentivizing Energy Efficiency in Multi-Family Residential Buildings
- First, there are many rental properties that waste a lot of energy and whose tenants are not making environmentally great decisions, included demanding energy efficient apartments.
- Secondly, there are few good incentives for owners or renters to do anything making their properties more energy efficient.
In addition to making is easier for students to know the energy efficiency level of apartments they are thinking about renting, the main solution would be to create a program to give incentives to owners and renters to make more environmentally friendly choices. This includes ways to make properties more energy efficient and to encourage occupants to make smart, eco-friendly decisions.
Moving forward with a project based on this solution, the students leaders involved the forum and interested in pursuing the solution created Students for Energy Efficient Living - SEEL. SEEL, the UW-Madison Focus Chapter is working with their partners, Madison Gas & Electric and We Conserve, along with groups like the Madison Green Property Owners Apartment Association, Focus on Energy, and WISPIRG Energy Service Corps to clarify the project outcome vision and goals. Currently the vision is to create a community situation where students become more concerned and informed about the environmental impact of their energy use (and other actions), which leads them to choose landlords with a "green" reputation. This will give certain landlords who are on the forefront a competitive edge in choosing tenants, and will persuade other landlords to follow suit. Those who aren't green but want to become green will have access to different services to reach their goals. This will help transform the market to contain more efficient and eco-friendly properties. Some specific steps to achieve this vision will include:
- Raise awareness among students about the relative green-ness of properties so that they can choose a property that will be efficient and cost them less in the long run.
- Make owners aware of how green-ness can be a competitive advantage, which could save on marketing and/or allow them to charge more rent.
- Give owners the tools to become more green.
- Give student renters incentives to reduce wasteful behavior.
- Make information on properties' greenness much more user friendly and accessible.
Scroll down to see how SEEL is achieving the solutions laid out during the Forum!
I am a Wisconsonite proud of my state's environmental heritage, determined to be part of a generation that furthers it.
Throughout the 2011-12 academic year, I served as one of the Focus Coordinator at Madison. This year, I have passed on the FC duties to Kelsey and Kirsten and I currently support the the F2A group as an FTN Almuni and team member.
I am an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Certificate in Engineering for Energy Sustainability. Throughout the 2011-12 academic year, I served as one of the Focus Coordinator. This year, I have passed on the FC duties to Kelsey and Kirsten and I currently support the the F2A group as a team member.
Young adults have the power to drive change within their communities and Focus the Nation is a perfect example of this. I am excited to help be this change and am driven to impact the community positively through an issue about which I am passionate. At the University of Wisconsin - Madison, I am currently working toward my Bachelor's degree in Community and Nonprofit Leadership along with Certificates in Environmental Studies, Business, and German.
Sep 18, 2013
- To make energy conservation in student rental properties a significant part of Badger culture
- To encourage students to make sustainability a lifestyle, not just a hobby
- To provide creative, hands-on learning opportunities surrounding our mission for members and the greater UW-Madison community
- To give and to encourage career development opportunities for our members
After reviewing the results of last year's student sustainability behavior survey and what diving into what incentives can promote more sustainable lifestyles, one of our first large initiatives will be running UW-Madison's first off-campus based energy conservation and reduction competition. We're busy preparing for the competition this winter and excited to start reducing energy usage off-campus later this winter! Stayed tuned in to learn more about this initiative and others SEEL will be developing.
Apr 27, 2012
Since the Negawatt Summit, the Focus Wisconsin Team has been busy having meetings with stakeholders and determining what types of incentives would be effective in pushing efficiency and green living within rental properties. Right now, the team is focusing on clarifying and defining what constitutes sustainable student behavior and what incentives lead students to engaging more often in this type of behavior. To do this, they are surveying students and community members on questions related to sustainability, factors that are considered when selecting a rental property, and the most convenient ways for college students to access information about the sustainability of rental properties. In a little over 24 hours after the Focus Wisconsin team sent out the initial survey, over 200 people have responded and the team has increased their goal on number of students and community members giving input. You can take the survey too! Just click here to get started. The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete.