The emergence of environmental problems and the corresponding need to reduce carbon emissions, combined with tough economic conditions worldwide, is leading more multifamily residential communities to work toward conserving energy and becoming more “green.” In recent years, being green has become more than just a trendy buzzword—for many Garden State HOAs, it’s now a way of life. More and more communities are adopting and implementing environmentally-sensitive policies, and intentionally using more eco-friendly products.
Taking a greener course makes sense for many residents, who see helping the environment and saving money for their association’s operating expenses as worthy benefits of using green practices in their communities. While many residents recognize the value in being environmentally friendly, and will often pay a premium to do so, some green measures can be implemented in a community without being prohibitively expensive. Not only board members and property managers, but average residents also can take advantage of the green programs available to help defray the cost of greening their developments. Starting the process is often as simple as going online, finding the pertinent information and applying for the program right then and there.
Looking for Green
Opportunities and options for going green are constantly multiplying. Municipalities, states and the federal government offer aid in the form of tax credits, free equipment upgrades, and other incentives for green measures, and more eco-friendly products are delivered to market each year.
Decades ago, there were no government-sponsored energy/environmental preservation incentive programs for multifamily buildings. But as public awareness has grown regarding the effect of daily activities on the environment, green programs have proliferated. Greater demand is driving the increase in green options, and now residents of multifamily communities and buildings can find savings by upgrading their homes with more eco-friendly materials and appliances.
“If you replace a piece of equipment with higher efficiency equipment, you might be able to get a rebate,” says Mitch Frumkin, a Certified Green Professional, a licensed professional engineer and president of the North Brunswick-based engineering consulting firm Kipcon, Inc.